Monday, December 19, 2016

Do You Need Humidifiers, Dehumidifiers, or Both?

With winter upon us, many people notice drier indoor air. They may experience cracked skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, and sinus pain. Cold air is unable to retain much moisture to begin with, but heating the air through an HVAC system only makes it drier. Many households operate humidifiers during this time, but if moisture levels become too high in winter, you may experience window condensation and an increase of mold and mildew spores. It’s important for both comfort and health to strike the right balance in a home’s humidity level year-round.

Recommended Relative Humidity

Moisture levels in your home are measured by relative humidity (RH). A hygrometer is a relatively inexpensive, small instrument that can be easily purchased at most hardware and home merchandise stores. Hygrometers come in both analog and digital models. Some include thermometers, measuring the temperature of a given room as well as humidity, and some even feature alarms that sound when the humidity is outside a comfortable range.

Indoor air should ideally have a relative humidity level somewhere between 30-50%. In winter, the level may need to be around 40% or below to avoid window condensation and mold growth.


Humidifiers add moisture to the air, usually by propelling a fine mist into the air. In winter, if the humidity level in a home falls below 30%, you or your family may experience some of the physical symptoms above. You may also notice static electricity, or the wood and leather in your home becoming dry and susceptible to cracks. Drier air feels colder, as well, so bringing up the humidity level can make you feel warmer in winter. Humidity levels can vary from room to room, so be sure to measure each room individually, and identify which rooms will benefit from a humidifier.    

Too much humidity, however, is problematic. When using humidifiers, make sure the relative humidity in each room stays within the comfort range. Heavy moisture in the air can cause a buildup of mold and dust mites, exacerbating allergy symptoms. Signs of too much moisture in the home include damp stains, blistering paint, visible mold growth, the presence of a musty or stale odor, and window condensation. If you notice signs of high humidity around your home, or consistently see high readings on your hygrometer, you may need a dehumidifier. 


Dehumidifiers pull moisture out of the air, often by collecting the water from the air in a tank. It is important to change the tank daily to prevent mildew and bacteria from growing. If your home measures over 50-60% humidity, a dehumidifier will bring the level back down into a more comfortable, healthy range.   

Because humidity levels vary so much throughout the year, and even from room to room, many people choose to use both, depending on the season. Some households run a humidifier in winter, and a dehumidifier in a damp basement, for example, or in spring or fall, when the air conditioner isn’t running. If you don’t run your HVAC system very often in summer, you may choose to run a dehumidifier for comfort, or to reduce moisture in certain areas of the house.  

At Wheeler’s Heating and Air Conditioning, we care about your home’s indoor air quality. Serving the Ozarks, we are a family-owned and operated business providing residential indoor air quality products, as well as furnace, heat pump, and air conditioner repair and installation. Please visit our site or call (417) 839-9240 today to find out more!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Stay Warm this Winter: The 3 main types of attic insulation

Winter is upon us, and insulation is on the minds of many homeowners right now. With most American households seeing a rise in energy bills at this time of year, and of course, wanting to maximize home comfort, HVAC contractors get a lot of questions about heating efficiency during this time. Attic insulation is an important part of winterizing a home and increasing its warmth. estimates that 9 out of 10 attics are under-insulated. When you think about how cold air sinks and warmer air rises, it makes sense that your attic insulation is one of the first places to look if your heating bills are high and your home feels drafty and cold. Insulation can either be added by a professional contractor, or on a do-it-yourself basis. Be sure never to cover recessed lighting or vents with insulation. For more tips on laying your own attic insulation, see here.
There are three main types of attic insulation: roll-on, blown-in, and spray foam. Before adding any type of insulation, be sure to plug or seal any areas of air leakage. Putting insulation over a hole or crack in the attic space will compromise its performance.
  • Roll-on insulation: This is generally the easiest type of insulation to put in yourself, but it isn’t necessarily the most efficient. Rolls of this kind of insulation usually come in fiberglass material. Rolls are pre-cut and don’t require special machinery to install. Roll-on installation is also good for covering large or long areas of the attic, but the downside is that it doesn’t conform perfectly to irregularly-shaped areas.
  • Blown-in: This form of insulation comes in small pieces, which makes it the best choice for filling in gaps, small spaces, and difficult-to-reach areas. It is applied with a machine that blows the material--usually cellulose or fiberglass--into the attic space through a large hose. It can also be applied over existing insulation.   
  • Spray foam: Spray foam can be the warmest option if applied correctly, but it can also be the most expensive. If applied too thick or too thin, spray foam insulation isn’t as efficient as blown-in or roll-on. As the name implies, this form of insulation involves spraying a coating of foam directly to the ceiling and walls of the attic. Spray foam, however, is a great option for sealing around vents, doors, and other drafty spots.
Wheeler’s Heating and Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated business providing furnace, heat pump, and air conditioner service and repair in Ozark, Missouri. Visit our site or call (417) 839-9240 today to find out more. Follow our blog for more tips on how to improve your indoor air quality and maximize your home’s heating and cooling efficiency!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ceiling Fan Operation Through the Seasons

Ceiling fans circulate the air in a room, adding to temperature comfort and a reduced need for usage of air conditioning or heating units. Depending on the season, there are tips for maximizing ceiling fan operation so that you get all the comfort and efficiency your fan can offer.

Ceiling Fan Rotation: Counterclockwise Versus Clockwise
Determine ceiling fan direction by standing under the fan and looking up. If the blades are moving counterclockwise, the fan is moving in a forward direction. In the summer, a ceiling fan should run in this direction. In winter, the direction should be switched so that it moves clockwise (backwards). The mechanics of this seasonal rule are as follows:

  • Counterclockwise: This direction forces air straight downward, creating a wind chill effect that cools the room below.
  • Clockwise: By changing the direction of the fan to clockwise, or backwards, the rotation creates an updraft of room air. Hot air rises naturally, so the goal is to push warm air gently back down into the room without creating the wind chill effect. This direction circulates warm air outwards so that it doesn’t blow straight down.

Ceiling Fan Speeds
Have you ever wondered why ceiling fans feature so many different speeds? In the summer when you need to cool off, high speed rotation offers the most “wind chill” effect. In winter, lower speeds in the reverse direction allow the warmer air to move away from the ceiling, down and out towards the rest of the room, without the wind chill effect created by excessive, downward air circulation.

Why, then, is the ceiling fan still able to run at a high speed in the clockwise direction? There are some instances where you might want to create the wind chill effect in reverse rotation. One example includes those who sleep under the ceiling fan who want to cool the room but not have the cold air blowing directly on them. For rooms where a table that is set up directly under a ceiling fan, it might be more comfortable to cool the room using the clockwise rotation in high speed, rather than eating or playing cards or board games with the cold air blowing straight down on the table.

Ceiling Fan Troubleshooting
If your fan isn’t creating the directional effects you want, the blades may be too flat to make a seasonal difference. You also might need a fan with a more powerful motor, or more speeds. The bottom line is that you should be able to feel cool air blowing downward on you in summer when you stand under the fan. If you don’t, it’s time to troubleshoot.

Wheeler’s Heating and Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated business providing furnace, heat pump, and air conditioner service and repair in Ozark, Missouri. We offer the most affordable rates around, as well as emergency service at no up-charge for after hours or holiday work. Visit our site or call (417) 839-9240 today to find out more!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Understanding Smart Home Technologies

Today’s home technologies provide homeowners with a plethora of conveniences.  From ensuring your thermostat is set at the touch of a button from a remote location to lighting your home right when you need it, these devices are designed to save time and money. Here is a peek at five smart home technologies you might want to consider adding to your house.

1.     Smart thermostats – These handy devices ensure your thermostat is properly programmed no matter where you are. They quickly learn your preferences and adjust their settings accordingly to ensure your home is at the optimal temperature at any time of day. If your needs change, you can manually adjust the settings quickly and conveniently from your Smartphone.

smart thermostat

2.     Smart vent - Keep the temperature of your rooms consistent and reduce hot or cold spots with a vent that opens and closes based on what it senses in the environment.

3.     Window air-conditioning – The smart window air conditioner redefines what you thought you knew about window A/C units. Like other smart devices it can be set using a Smartphone application and can actually determine how far you are from home and set the temperature to be just right by the time you walk through the door. It also can sync with your utility bill and offer money saving advice based on your energy usage.

4.     Connected LED remote light bulbs – Using the power of your Smartphone, a connected light bulb allows the homeowner to turn on their lights before they walk through the door or turn them off while they are away. Combine this technology with the fact that the bulb is LED and it adds up energy savings and a longer lasting light source.

5.     Personal assistant – Much like Apple’s Siri, personal assistant technology is coming to the home technology market. Brands such as Amazon’s Echo allow homeowners to get the information they need by simply asking their smart assistant. The device can answer questions about the weather, play in home music and are becoming increasing more adaptable to other smart technologies. 

At Wheeler's Heating & Air Conditioning we provide our customer with HVAC technologies to help keep their home comfortable and help them save money. If you have questions about which HVAC technology is right for you, call us today! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How Does Your Air Conditioner Affect Allergies?

Summer in Missouri means blooming flowers, green grass and an excess amount of pollen in the air. Unfortunately, with the August weather come the affects of seasonal allergies. Allergies can impact individuals at any age. Allergic reactions from pollen, mold and even household dust, can include itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose, skin rashes and even breathing difficulties such as asthma.

Since indoor air pollution levels are two to five times higher than outdoor air pollution levels and we spend a good deal of our time indoors, the air quality we breathe indoors should be of the utmost importance. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system can improve indoor air quality and reduce allergens throughout the home. Take a look at what you can do to ensure your indoor air is as clean as possible:

       Replace filters. Use high-quality filters or permanent HEPA filters, which remove more than 90% of microscopic particles, drastically reducing indoor allergens. For replaceable filters, consider changing them every three months. For permanent HEPA filters, clean them or have them cleaned regularly.
       Keep your HVAC unit clean. Check your outdoor AC unit and indoor unit to make sure they are free of dust and debris. If your unit is left dusty or dirty, that debris will be sucked into the HVAC system and circulated throughout your home. Keeping your units clean will reduce allergens.
       Check for mold. Mold is one of the most dangerous indoor pollutants that can be in your home. You should be checking your air ducts, drip pan and drain, evaporator coils, and air handler every few weeks to make sure there is no mold growth. Mold spores cause allergies and in some cases if left unchecked, they cause serious illness and even death.
       Dust regularly. When dusting your home, you should dust your air registers and return vents first. If your registers and vents are dusty, then they will circulate dust to the rest of your home. And cleaning them with a damp cloth instead of a feather duster will pick up the dust rather than just redistributing it elsewhere.
       Schedule HVAC maintenance. Spring is a great time to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment. Regular professional maintenance is important to keep your system healthy and free of dust and blockage.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies in the Ozarks and surrounding Christian County, Wheeler’s Heating & Air Conditioning can help! We provide air conditioning repair and preventative maintenance to ensure your summer is as allergy-free as possible. To schedule an appointment, visit or give us a call at 417-839-9240.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Significance Of Changing Your Air Conditioning Unit Filters

As we get deeper into the heat of summer, you will likely be turning your air conditioning unit on more and more.  One of the easiest and most important ways to keep your AC running smoothly is by changing the filter.  Almost every air conditioning system has a filter and its job is to remove particles from the air and keep your air conditioner clean. 

air conditionerWhy Change Your Air Filters:
Replacing your air conditioning filter regularly is a simple and cost-effective way to avoid costly repairs and replacements. Changing the filter in an overworked, inefficient unit will help keep your heating and air conditioning unit in operation and cut down on pollutants in your home. Indoor air quality is important for everyone, but if someone in the home suffers from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems, it is especially important to make sure the unit is running with a clean filter. In addition to operational and health benefits, changing your AC filter is also an easy step towards lowering your energy bills and saving money in the long run.

When To Change Filters:
Experts recommend you check your unit’s air filter every month and change it every 1-3 months. However, depending on the time of year and other factors, this number may increase. Those who run their units year-round, own pets, smoke, have had construction or a wildfire in the area should change the filter more frequently.  Replace a filter if it looks brown, dirty, or clogged. Always replace a filter that feels damp, to prevent mold growth.

Who To Call:
While changing a filter is one of the easiest ways to keep your HVAC system running at peak performance, sometimes replacing a filter alone is not enough.  If you are a resident of the Ozarks area, Wheeler’s Heating and Air Conditioning can help service your current AC unit or install a new energy efficient system that will cool your home all summer long.

For honest, reliable and affordable service, contact Wheeler’s Heating and Air Conditioning LLC for a free in home estimate.  We are available 24/7 and are ready to help with all of your heating and cooling emergencies – including dirty air conditioning filters!  Give us a call at 417-839-9240 to set up an appointment with our team.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Importance of an Annual Air Conditioning Tune-Up

When it comes to air conditioning repairs, many people are of the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" mindset. They flip on the switch and assume that they will enjoy cool comfortable air. When this doesn't happen, an urgent call to a heating and cooling specialist is the next thing on their to-do list. What they fail to realize is yearly servicing of their air conditioning can save them from this unplanned emergency and might even save money in the long run.

Here are six reasons you should service your central air conditioning unity before the long hot days of summer are upon us:
  • Validate Home Warranty- A home warranty is in place to protect you from unexpected issues. Many warranties require yearly service of major home systems such as HVAC to be valid. 
  • Keep AC Healthy- Just as you require a doctor's check-up to maintain health and vitality, annual maintenance on your air conditioning can solve minor issues that could lead to big problems down the road. 
  • Maintain Efficiency- Energy efficiency is an important topic for homeowners. The more efficient your appliances are, the less money you spend on monthly energy bills. Yearly tune-ups can keep your AC system running at top performance and can help reduce your out-of-pocket utility expenses. 
  • Save the Planet- going hand-in-hand with energy efficiency is the environmental importance of having your air conditioning properly maintained. Excess energy usage caused by an inefficient AC unit depletes precious resources and harms our planet. 
  • Consistent Home  Cooling- As a homeowner, you desire equal cooling throughout your entire home. An AC unity with maintenance issues often struggles to maintain the desired balance leaving upper levels of the home significantly warmer than other spaces. An air conditioning professional can help ensure that the temperature remains constant in even the harshest conditions. 
  • Improve Air Quality- Air is something we often take for granted. We need it to survive, and we assume that it is safe. A poorly maintained air conditioning unit could actually be harmful for your health if it is contributing to poor air quality. 
Beat the summer rush and don't get caught off guard by an unexpected air conditioning repair. Contact the heating and cooling experts at Wheeler's Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your air conditioning tune-up today!