Author Archive

Swamp Cooler or Refrigerated Air Conditioning – What you need to know

Posted on: February 18, 2013 by in Furnace Dangers

When the time comes to consider replacing or upgrading your home’s comfort system, exploring your options always makes sense. Good contractors have the knowledge and skills to effectively review those options with you, and they’ll also ensure your equipment is sized and installed correctly.  If you have any questions, the answers are easy to get.

Just call Mechanical Control Solutions (MCS) at 505-888-1616!

Homeowners in the Albuquerque, NM area can thank improved cooling technology for increasing their options when it comes to air conditioning. Since each type has its own pros and cons, it’s important to do a little research before you decide which one is best for you.

Quick Facts about Refrigerated Air Conditioning vs. Evaporative (Swamp) Cooling

Refrigerated A/C

  • Produces colder air than evaporative cooling
  • Maintains a consistent temperature
  • Appraised value of home is higher
  • Electric expense is higher
  • Not affected by excess humidity
  • Able to filter the air –doesn’t pull in bugs, dust, pollen and smoke from outside

Evaporative Cooling

  • Produces moist air
  • Moisture causes swelling in your walls and doorways
  • Can leave items in your home feeling wet, including your bed sheets
  • Cheaper to run– depending on cost of water
  • Ineffective when temperature above 95 degrees or in high humidity conditions

Many homeowners use evaporative cooling because it is less expensive to install and operate. When the weather is hot and dry, it’s both effective and efficient. Unfortunately, it loses that effectiveness when the humidity rises. We’re in the midst of a serious drought, so evaporative cooling is also a significant drain on our precious water resources. On the plus side, dramatic improvements in evaporative cooling technology have improved both the cooling capacity and maintenance chores. The Breezair Evaporative Cooler, for example, can deliver 75 degree air on a 100 degree day.

Refrigerated air, on the other hand, provides extensive benefits over evaporative cooling. In addition to maintaining even temperatures and humidity throughout the home, it doesn’t waste water. Since it doesn’t pull outside air into the home, smoke, pollen and other contaminants remain outside. Though most refrigerated air systems use more electricity to cool your home, solutions such as solar powered systems do exist. The Sunsource Home Comfort System by Lennox uses 8 solar panels to reduce your electricity usage by approximately 80%, and it also qualifies you for a 30% federal tax credit.

Just call Mechanical Control Solutions (MCS) at 505-888-1616 for more information. We will help you make the right decisions for your budget and needs.

The Air We Breathe – The Importance of Using an Air Filter, Purifier and Humidifier

Posted on: January 31, 2013 by in Air Purification

Your family’s health and comfort is tied to the quality of the air in your home and business. The newer the home, the tighter it is sealed leaving more contaminants trapped inside. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has determined that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental dangers to the public.  For more information call us at 505-888-1616.

If the air quality inside your home were a puzzle, it would have three parts:

  1. Filtration
  2. Purification
  3. Humidification

Let’s look at each piece of that puzzle:

1. Filtration

According to the NAFA (National Air Filtration Association) 95-98% of indoor air is made up of particles smaller than one micron. Bacteria, smoke, viruses, and lung damaging dust all fit into this category.

When you purchased your home heating system, you probably bought the best air filtration system offered to you. It probably uses the same old fiberglass or pleated filter that’s been around for years. Here’s the problem: the filter you have in your home is designed to protect your heating and cooling system between its annual check-up and cleanings. It is NOT designed to protect you and your family. These filters don’t even keep your system clean much less filter out the other contaminants in your air. Trying to catch airborne particles that are harmful to humans with a standard filter is like using a tennis racket to kill mosquitoes. You may get a few bugs, but it’s pure luck when you do.

Most of us drink a 1/2 gallon of water a day which is either purified bottled water or filtered at the tap. In contrast, the average person breathes about 3,750 gallons or more of polluted air per day. According to the EPA, our indoor air is usually 2-5 times worse than outside air because of our tightly constructed homes and offices. Studies show we spend about 90% of our time indoors, thus increasing our exposure.

The good news is there are affordable filters available that can capture up to 95% of contaminants down to .3 microns. This is the same level of filtration used by hospitals for in-patient and general surgery areas. These filters will fit in your existing heating system with little or no modification. There are even filtration systems available with carbon built-in to help remove odors, formaldehyde, and other VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).

2. Purification

The next step is to kill what you can’t capture. There is a whole new class of air purification systems out there that actually kill dust mites, bacteria, flu virus and even MRSA (this is an extremely resistant bacteria). These systems use the power of the sun to purify the air. Research done by Kansas State University on the Activetek Air Scrubber has shown it has a 99% effective kill rate on bacteria on surfaces and can even kill 78% of germs within 3 foot of a sneeze. The savings from preventing one illness can more than pay for the installation of the Air Scrubber.

We all know how diseases decreased when we started filtering and purifying the water. We are in the same position with our air today that people faced with water systems a hundred years ago. If cleaning the water we drink is a good idea, why not apply the same concept to cleaning the air we breathe?

Quick Facts:

- Your central heating and cooling system circulates the air in your home every 11.5 minutes. It is the perfect location for cleansing your air. Many people spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on advertised room air cleaners that, according to Consumer Reports, simply don’t work or are limited in their effectiveness.

- A central air conditioning system is the perfect breeding ground and incubator for mold, fungi, and bacteria. It’s cool, dark, and damp with a supply of food brought to it by the air stream. If we were looking at nature, your indoor unit would be an old, dark musty cave. If you have had a heating and cooling system leaking water, that overflow could easily create a build-up of slime and mold in your system.

- A standard air filter is only 2% efficient at capturing particles smaller than 5 microns. Since 95-98% of all airborne particles are smaller than 1 microns according to the EPA, that means it is largely ineffective.

- A particle of 5 microns or smaller will pass through the lining of the lungs directly into the blood stream. (American Lung Association)

3. Humidification

The final piece of your home or office indoor air quality puzzle is effective humidification. Dry itchy skin, static shock, and dry sinuses are all caused by the lack of humidity in the winter. Our homes suffer as well. Dry air cracks wood and plaster, and it damages antiques, musical instruments, and electronics.

A whole house humidifier will comfortably manage the humidity in your home. Proper humidity improves your health and saves you money on your heating bills by making you feel warmer.

Clearly, effective management of your home or office indoor air quality will result in greater comfort, better health, and more money in the bank for you and your family.   For more information call us at Mechanical Control Solutions (MCS) at 505-888-1616.

Your Furnace Wears From The Inside Out…

Posted on: November 5, 2012 by in Furnace Dangers
By Sandy Adams
November 5, 2012
      The tires on your car wear from constant grinding and flexing over pavement. It’s easy to know when they’re dangerous and need replacement because they wear from the outside in.  Your furnace heat exchanger wears out from the expansions and contraction caused by the burners as they turn on and off. We’ve all taken a soda can at one point or another and flexed it back and forth until it cracks.  That’s what happens to your furnace’s heat exchanger after years of expansion and contraction from the heat.  But unlike your tires, you have no warning how dangerous your heating system is becoming because it wears from the inside out.
     The heat exchanger of your furnace is a series of closed chambers that are heated with gas burners.  The burning (combustion) process within the chambers generate carbon monoxide gas, which is vented from the closed chambers out through the flue on your furnace, much the same as the tailpipe in an automobile.  Your home receives heat from air that is blown past the hot, heat exchanger.  A crack or hole in your system may allow carbon monoxide gas to enter your living environment.  Furnaces should be tested every year for signs of wear or damage and carbon monoxide leaks.  It is recommended by The American Gas Association that you replace your furnace or heat exchanger when this damage occurs.  Operating an older, untested furnace may be as dangerous as taking your family out for a drive in a set of bald tires.
     A 15 year-old furnace is like a set of tires with 96,000 miles on them.  It’s important to have your furnace inspected EVERY YEAR to help keep your family safe and comfortable.
Make the right call to MCS and get your heater inspected right away!  (505) 888-1616

Check Back Soon for More Information Direct from MCS!

Posted on: September 20, 2012 by in Furnace Dangers