Check and replace their filters.

  • Air conditioner filters are crucial to maintain the air quality in your home since they trap debris, pollen, dirt, viruses, dust, and any other particles that would damage your HVAC system inside your home. If you have children, pets, or even seasonal allergies, an AC filter is important to upkeep. Without changing it monthly, it will lead to a congested filter and eventually the debris will float around your house or damage your system. But don’t worry, every homeowner can easily install a filter in their home right away.

  • Locate your unit and turn it off before taking out your AC filter.

  • Usually, your filter will be inside a return vent on the ceiling or near the floor (tip: if you have multiple AC units, make sure to replace all of them). Sometimes a single system may have more than one return vent as well.

  • Open the latch to the door of the filter and/or clean it if there is dust piling up.

  • Make note of how the filter was put in, its measurements, and its airflow rating before replacing it with a new one- you can easily access one at a local hardware store or have it delivered to your home at

  • Easily replace the old filter with the new one and close back up.

Maintain a clean condenser coil. Keeping your outdoor AC unit clean is important because dirt or debris can affect the proper airflow of the condenser coils. Remember, the more active your AC units are, the more you should clean them- both interior and exterior units (evaporator coil, blower fan, condenser coils, and compressor). You can buy coil cleaner from the nearest home improvement store near you to clean the condenser coils and evaporator coil (you can even carefully spray your outside unit with a hose to clean away dirt). If it doesn’t seem like your AC is cooling, cleaning your condenser coils may solve the issue since outside units work by moving heat from inside your home to outside your home. While cleaning your condenser coil sounds great, make sure to clean with care. The coil fins are quite sensitive and accidentally damaging them could prove to be harmful- making it not work properly. There’s always the risk of electrical shock or damage from chemicals in coil solutions so if the job seems too difficult, hire a professional technician to do the maintenance.

Make sure the condensate line is clear to allow for liquid runoff. Pour a cup of vinegar down the condensate drain line to clean out the mildew. You can find the pipe in the AC unit; in a garage, crawlspace, closet, or near other electrical units and simply uncap it to pour the vinegar. This action can prevent water clogging and leaking in your pipe because the vinegar will help remove the dirt or mold blocking from inside the pipe.

If you would like a professional to perform maintenance, please contact Blue Ridge Heating and Air at

When choosing new HVAC systems, you must get not only the best equipment, but also a trustworthy service and maintenance provider. Whether you are thinking about a new system or already have one, you also want the best air filters to make your system perform excellently and last a long time. Being the customer, you want to live comfortably and save money, and by choosing the best filters, you can accomplish both! Filters are vital because they filtrate dust, pollen, small particles, odor, chemicals, and other debris that could harm the customer and their home. Without proper filters, particles are entering your lungs, and you may not even know it, so it is essential to find reliable brands for top-tier performance. Plus, you can save money in two ways by using quality filters. One: if you have a filter that is not working properly, then you might find yourself having to replace filters more often, or even worse, damaging your air conditioning system creating extra expense to fix. So, having a high-end air purification filter minimizes the amount of money needed to maintain and repair your system. Two: when your filter is working properly, the air is flowing smoothly, but if your filter isn’t working well, the whole system can not breathe and does not operate efficiently. As a result, your system will have higher energy consumption, which will cost more money on your power bill.

Blue Ridge Heating & Air recommends Aprilaire Air Purifiers for your heating and air equipment. They produce high-quality engineered solutions to best fit the customer, meeting their air quality needs. These include removing pollen, mold, bacteria, pet dander, and dust from the air, which improves your home's indoor air quality, allowing you to vacuum and dust less. Plus, Aprilaire products shield your family from smoke, pollution, and viruses, removing up to 99% of asthma triggers. In addition, Aprilaire specializes in its products using self-seal and interlocking rail system technology. Self-seal technology allows a proper seal in the system’s vents to prevent air leakage and maximize indoor air quality and system protection. Plus, interlocking rail systems allow the filter to perform without complicated assembly, or cardboard and metal reinforcements. They supply a variety of models and types to meet customers’ indoor air quality needs with most systems.

Once an Aprilaire Air Purifier is installed, you can purchase replacement filters from the Blue Ridge Heating & Air store, and they will be delivered to your home. Plus, they contain easy instructions on their boxes. We recommend the Aprilaire Healthy Home Air Purifier, 2-Pack, which can be purchased at the Blue Ridge Heating & Air store. STORE | Blue Ridge Heating and Air

High humidity levels in your home will generally lead you to set your thermostat at a lower temperature.

The hot, humid air of July is what we think of when someone mentions the "dog days of summer". We are used to the meteorologists talking about not only the forecasted temperature, but also the "heat index". Simply put, when the humidity is high, there is so much moisture in the air that your sweat is not able to evaporate; therefore, your body's primary cooling mechanism has a limited efficiency. The National Weather Service describes it in further detail at

Inside your home, the level of humidity can have a similar effect. The temperature may "feel" warmer than it really is when the relative humidity is above 60%. We frequently hear about how much energy costs can be saved by turning down the thermostat by a degree or two. However, rarely do we hear that if we lower the humidity levels in our home, we can then raise the thermostat a little without "feeling" warmer.

The key message for homeowners regarding comfort and their HVAC system is that "it's not just about the temperature, but the humidity level is very important also."

You don't like high humidity, but I wonder who does?

If you believe the mattress companies, your mattress significantly increases in weight over time due to dead skin cells, the dust mites that eat the dead skin cells, carcasses of dead dust mites, and the waste that the dust mites produce...all become a part of your mattress. has an interesting article on this topic called How Gross Is Your Mattress?.

What can you do about dust mites? Well, you can give up on controlling them and try to increase your health tolerance living with them; or you can eradicate them. The first step in doing so is to reduce the humidity level in the home. The National Library of Medicine published a journal article several years ago entitled Reducing relative humidity is a practical way to control dust mites and their allergens in homes in temperate climates. Beyond this, you can remove carpet in your home and replace it with hardwood, tile, etc., wash sheets and blankets weekly in 130-degree F water. The list goes on. Keeping humidity below 50% prevents them from staying alive in your home.

How can you reduce the humidity level in your home?

The quality of your indoor air begins with your crawl space or unfinished basement if you have one.

Keeping humidity low in your crawl space is a good move for the crawl space itself. It helps control termite activity, mold growth, etc. However, the quality of the air in your crawl space impacts your indoor air quality. Humidity naturally rises, and will find it's way into your home from the crawl space. The ultimate measure for controlling crawl space humidity is total encapsulation with a dehumidifier.

Consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier.

A whole house dehumidifier can be integrated into your ducted heating and cooling system. This allows the dehumidifier or humidistat to activate the blower motor of your HVAC system to circulate air through your whole home, pulling out the moisture as it passes through the dehumidifier. As the air becomes drier, you become more comfortable at higher temperatures. For instance, if you traditionally set your thermostat at 71 F, you may be able

to set it at 75 F and "feel" about the same level of comfort. This would provide considerable energy savings.

What does the "size" of my HVAC system have to do with it?

Your current heating and cooling system may be "oversized". This means that it can provide much more cooling or heating than your home requires. For example, you may have a 3-ton (36,000 BTU) heat pump when your house needs a 2-ton (24,000 BTU) heat pump. This is fairly common in the area when installers use a square footage rule-of-thumb to size your system rather than a thorough load calculation. The premise is it is better to be too large

than too small. The negative consequence of this is that an oversized system will cycle, meaning it turns on for a very short duration and then turns off. Ideally, a more appropriately sized system will run for a longer duration, but at a lower energy consumption. If your system is cycling, it is not doing enough dehumidification. If your system is oversized, a whole-house dehumidifier can definitely help.

Who can help?

I'm glad you asked! Blue Ridge Heating and Air can help with all the issues discussed in this article. We encapsulate crawl spaces and basements, we install whole-house dehumidifiers ducted into your existing HVAC system, and we perform load calculations when replacing existing systems.

Ben Lagrange