Over the past month here at Titan, we have begun installing a new product that is helping schools and universities maintain the health safety of their students and staff during the pandemic. A new air-cleaning technology from Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) removes pathogens (including COVID-19) from the air using the existing HVAC system in a building. Let’s go over how it works. How it Works GPS’ patented technology is called needlepoint bipolar ionization (or NPBI™). This technology purifies indoor air by reducing airborne particulates, odors, and pathogens.  To accomplish this, NPBI™ creates and releases ions into the airstream using your existing HVAC system. These ions disperse throughout the room and form bonds with particles in the air through a process called agglomeration. This process forms large clusters of particles that are more easily filtered out of the air by your HVAC system. In addition, the ions themselves have a microbicidal effect (meaning they destroy microbes) on pathogens, rendering them inactive. NPBI™ does this without producing ozone or other harmful byproducts, so it’s safe to use in indoor spaces. You can see how this technology could change the game this winter for schools, universities, and other businesses that rely on gathering people indoors. Please note that in their disclaimers, GPS states that this technology is not intended to take the place of other precautions to prevent the transmission of disease, and that compliance with health authorities and the CDC’s guidance is still important, including but not limited to social distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and the use of face masks. Testing and Compliance This technology has undergone several rounds of testing to prove its safety and effectiveness. GPS has done in-lab sensitivity testing and simulations, as well as field testing in several of their customer locations, and has found it to be effective and non-harming both to people and the environment. As a bonus, it has also been shown to save up to 30% on energy consumption! This technology has been registered and certified by UL 867 and UL 2998 as ozone-free, and is CE compliant. Where it’s Being Used NPBI™ is already being used in thousands of offices, airports, hospitals, schools, and other community spaces worldwide. Among their list of customers, GPS lists Harvard University, Google, Boston Children’s Hospital, and even the White House. Titan has only been installing this product for the past month, but already it is in high demand among our customers, especially local school districts. The hope is that this technology will help schools stay open during the pandemic, while providing an added level of safety for students, teachers, and staff. This exciting new technology is available for installation by our HVAC technicians here at Titan. If NPBI™ sounds like a good fit for your building, or if you have questions, call us at 651-714-8931. ...

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Generally speaking, large open spaces take more energy to heat and cool than smaller enclosed spaces, especially if they have high or vaulted ceilings. Yet modern open floor plan design tends to result in greater energy efficiency, not less. Let’s take a look at why that is. More Natural Light Homes with an open floor plan have fewer walls and angles to block the spread of light, allowing you to take full advantage of natural lighting. Sunshine can stream throughout the space uninhibited, filling your home with natural light. More natural light equates to more natural warmth as well, decreasing your reliance on your furnace in the winter. During the summer, improved airflow helps maintain more consistently cool temperatures, and shades and ceiling fans can help keep things cool so you don’t overtax your A/C unit. If windows are optimally placed in the home so that you can get the most benefit from natural light, you will reduce the amount of energy you need to heat and light your home. Improved Air Circulation Walls impede the flow of air, making enclosed spaces stuffy. They also make it difficult to maintain consistent temperatures throughout the home — often, one room will feel just right while the rest are too warm or too cold. You can overwork your HVAC unit trying to keep all of your rooms comfortable. An open floor plan allows air to circulate freely, making it easier to keep indoor air fresh and maintain an even temperature throughout the home while reducing the energy you use. Less Square Footage Needed The same square footage can feel bigger or smaller depending on the design of the home. Homes with open floor plans feel more spacious than those with a traditional floor plan, meaning you need less square footage to create an open and spacious atmosphere in your home. In other words, a smaller home with an open floor plan can feel just as spacious as a larger home with a traditional layout. The smaller your home, the less energy it requires to heat, cool, and light, and the lower your utility bills are. Open floor plans are not without their downsides — less privacy, potentially noisier, difficult to contain kitchen odors, and so on — so they are not to everyone’s preference. But when it comes to energy efficiency, modern open floor plan design has traditional floor plans beat.Whether you have an open floor plan or a traditional home, the best way to keep your HVAC unit running as efficiently as possible is with a routine maintenance plan. Contact Titan to get on our calendar for routine maintenance, repair, or replacement by giving us a call at 651-714-8931. We look forward to serving you! ...

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What should you do before turning on your furnace?

Fall is officially here, which means heating season is just around the corner. But before you turn on your furnace for the first time, there are a few things you should do to ensure it’s ready to keep your home warm all winter long.   Change the Air Filter A clogged air filter keeps your furnace from running efficiently and can potentially cause it to overheat. Check your filter monthly and change it as needed — at least every 3 months, but more often if you have allergies or pets who shed. If you have a reusable air filter, vacuum it to remove any dust, then wash it with soap and water and allow it to dry before inserting it back into the furnace.   Uncover Vents & Clear Out Debris Blocked vents will keep heat from flowing uniformly throughout your house, so make sure nothing is obstructing your heating vents — including furniture, curtains, rugs, or other objects. You can also remove the register covers and vacuum out the ducts with a hose attachment to remove some of the dust and debris that accumulates between regular professional cleanings.   Declutter the Area Around Your Furnace Items stored near your furnace can pose a fire hazard. Move anything that is stored close to your furnace unit, paying special attention to flammable items such as rags, mops, paper, and chemicals. To be on the safe side, it’s best to keep all flammable materials in a separate room from the furnace.   Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Test your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to ensure they are in working order, and change the batteries if you haven’t done so in a while. If your home doesn’t have CO detectors, you’ll want to add them. When a furnace burns oil or natural gas to create heat, carbon monoxide is produced as a by-product. The CO is typically vented out of your home by your heating system, but cracks in the heat exchanger, blockages in the vents, or other issues can cause your furnace to leak carbon monoxide, putting your family at risk for CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide detectors typically last 5-7 years, so if yours is on the older side, it may be time to replace it.     Test the Thermostat Test your thermostat to make sure it’s communicating with your furnace. Turn the thermostat up high enough to make the heat kick on, and if it seems like it's not communicating with the furnace, replace the batteries (if it has batteries). If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need a new thermostat.     Seal Doors and Windows Make sure all outside doors and windows have a nice tight seal. Any gaps will allow heated air to escape and cold air to enter your home, making your furnace work even harder to keep your house at a consistent temperature (and therefore increasing your heating bill).     Schedule an Inspection Routine yearly maintenance helps keep your furnace in tip top shape as well as reduce the cost of major repairs. Fall is the time to schedule a tuneup and inspection for your furnace to make sure it’s ready for the cold weather months. During an inspection an HVAC technician will inspect your system for signs of wear and tear, clean out your system, and make any needed adjustments to keep everything running reliably throughout the winter. And if your furnace is nearing the end of its life, this is a good time to have it checked out to see if it can hang on for another year or if it’s time for a replacement. Titan Heating & Cooling is here to help you with regular HVAC maintenance, new furnace installation, or any...

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Just like your car, your HVAC system needs routine preventative maintenance to keep it running at its best. HVAC repairs can be costly, but luckily there are a few simple things you can do each month to keep your system in shape and avoid unnecessary repairs. These three tasks are at the top of our list for routine HVAC maintenance.   1 - Change the Air Filter Operating your HVAC unit with a dirty or clogged filter can cause damage to your equipment and reduce your indoor air quality. Your air filter needs to be changed every 30-90 days and checked for dirt and clogs every month. To check it, remove the air filter and look for damage. If there is damage, or if you haven’t changed the filter in a while, swap it out for a new one. If there is no damage and you want to extend the filter’s life for another month, gently wipe off any dirt with a damp cloth. The more people and pets you have in your home, the more often you will need to change your filter.  When buying new filters, look for a high MERV rating, which is a measure of energy efficiency. If you have allergies, consider a HEPA filter to improve your air quality even more.   2 - Check Drains and Hoses Take a look at your A/C unit’s drains and hoses each month, looking for obstructions and leaks. Inspect the drain pans and condensate drains, ensuring they are unobstructed and clean. This will keep excess moisture from being trapped in the unit or inside the house.    3 - Clean the Outside Unit Cleaning the outside unit of your HVAC system is just as important as tending to the indoor unit. Each month, check to make sure your outdoor unit is free of leaves, twigs, or other debris, and that trees or shrubs offer at least 2-3 feet of clearance around the unit. Remove the fan cage on top of the unit and vacuum out the interior. Use a gentle spray from your garden hose to clean dust off of the fins, and wipe down the outside of the unit as well.   Doing these three things each month, along with routine annual maintenance, will help keep your HVAC system in prime condition, so you can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If you are in need of HVAC maintenance or service, Titan Heating and Cooling has your back — give us a call at 651.714.8931. ...

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When we consider the quality of the air we breathe, we tend to think of outdoor air pollution, but we don’t often think about pollution in the air inside our homes. But in many cases, indoor air can be just as polluted, if not more so, than the air outside. Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to an array of health problems - some minor, others much more serious. Let’s take a look at how the air you breathe could be impacting your health.    What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality? Many things can cause the air in your home to become polluted:  Dust  Mold  Mildew  Smoke from cigarettes or cooking  Fumes from carpet and furniture  Bacteria or viruses  Pet dander  Cleaning products  Air fresheners and more can all diminish the quality of the air you breathe. All of your day-to-day activities ultimately contribute in one way or another to the air quality in your home. Additionally, improper ventilation and high humidity can increase the concentration of pollutants in the air, further contributing to the problem.    Health Effects Associated With Poor Air Quality The effects of exposure to poor indoor air quality vary depending on many factors, including the type and concentration of pollution in the air, the sensitivity level of each person, and the length of exposure to the pollutant. If you have symptoms at home but they diminish or disappear when you leave, it’s possible you are experiencing the effects of poor air quality. Some of the health effects that polluted indoor air contributes to are: Immediate effects:  Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, or skin  Headaches  Dizziness  Fatigue  Shortness of breath or mild asthma   Long-Term Effects:  Respiratory disease  Rapid heartbeat or heart disease  Nausea or vomiting  Worsening asthma symptoms  Lung cancer These long-term effects can happen in cases where you are exposed to particularly harmful pollutants (such as radon or ozone) or to a high concentration of less harmful pollutants for an extended period of time, and you may not notice more severe symptoms for many years. Also, some people are more sensitive to pollutants than others, so all family members may not experience the same symptoms.    How to Improve Indoor Air Quality There are a number of ways to improve the quality of the air in your home, ranging from simple things you can try on your own to bigger changes that require help from a professional. Opening up the windows for ventilation, opting for cleaning and personal care products that produce less toxic fumes, running a dehumidifier on humid days, changing your air filter regularly, and having your HVAC system professionally cleaned can significantly improve your indoor air quality. For an even greater improvement in your home’s air quality, consider installing a whole-house ventilation system or adding an air purifier to an existing system.    Product Spotlight: BreatheCLEAN Air Purifier Here at Titan we recommend the BreatheCLEAN Total Home Air Purifier for the ultimate in indoor air purification. BreatheCLEAN uses the power of pure ultraviolet light to kill airborne microorganisms such as germs, bacteria and mold. It easily installs into the existing ductwork of your home’s central ventilation system and continually cleans the air as it circulates. No competing model offers more effective purification for your home, and the BreatheCLEAN system costs less than you’d think.  If you’re ready to improve the quality of your indoor air with an air purifier, upgraded air filter, new dehumidifier, or professional HVAC cleaning, Titan Heating & Cooling has what you need. Give us a call at 651.714.8931 or contact us here. ...

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When the hottest days of summer hit, the following tips will help your AC run more efficiently, keeping you cooler and your electric bills lower.    Check Your Air Filter Regularly replacing your air filter is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your AC unit running efficiently. Get in the habit of checking your air filter once a month and replacing it as needed. Give Your AC Unit Some Shade and Space Creating shade around your AC unit by planting shrubs or trees nearby can also help keep it cool, but be careful not to get them too close. Keep plants and other landscaping at least 2-4 feet away from the unit to ensure adequate airflow and allow access for regular maintenance.  Close Shades During the Day Close shades, curtains, and blinds during the hottest parts of the day to help keep out some of the heat of direct sunlight. Then open them up again at night to allow built up heat to escape.    Run Ceiling Fans Counterclockwise If you have ceiling fans, run them counterclockwise in the summer to help push cool air down. Your AC unit won’t have to work as hard, and your room will feel up to 8 degrees cooler! (In the winter, you’ll want to switch your fan to rotate clockwise so it pulls cool air up and pushes warm air down.)    Check Your Thermostat Increasing your thermostat by a few degrees can give your AC a break as well. Setting it at around 78 degrees will give you the best energy savings, but we know that isn’t comfortable for everyone. Increasing the temperature even a degree or two can make a big difference. In addition, keep lamps and other heat-producing appliances away from  your thermostat, as the extra heat will tell it to run the AC more than it needs to. For the same reason, try to keep direct sunlight off of your thermostat as well.  Use a Dehumidifier Here in Minnesota we know all too well that high humidity can make hot summer days feel miserable. Running a dehumidifier will make your home feel much more comfortable without overtaxing your AC unit, even on the hottest of days.  Seal Up Leaks Some basic weatherization steps can prevent the loss of that cool air your AC unit is working so hard to create. Seal air leaks around windows and doors with caulking or weatherstripping and make sure air ducts are properly sealed and insulated as well.  Call In the Pros Routine maintenance of your HVAC system will keep it running at peak performance and efficiency. We recommend having your system checked out at least once a year to keep it in tip top shape.  Time for a Replacement? If your AC unit is no longer able to keep up with your cooling needs, it may be time for a replacement. While a new unit can be an investment, newer models are more energy-efficient and will save you money in the long run.  When it’s time to maintain, repair, or replace your AC unit, Titan Heating & Cooling has everything you need. Give us a call at 651.714.8931 or contact us here.  ...

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Spring is the time we all think of freshening up our homes, from deep cleaning to tackling our list of home repairs. If your home needs updating, but you’re working with a limited budget, we have a few ideas for you. Here are 10 ways to update your home without breaking the bank this spring.   1. Insulate and Seal Up Leaks Proper insulation helps keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. If your HVAC system seems to run all the time, additional insulation will help. Seal up drafty windows or doors as well, using weatherstripping or caulk to keep conditioned air from escaping.   2. Add or Replace Window Treatments  Create cooling shade for the summer by adding blinds, curtains, or even indoor shutters to your windows. Or replace older window treatments with new ones for a clean, fresh look. This small upgrade will have a big effect on the look and feel of your home.   3. Update Kitchen Cabinets Spruce up kitchen cabinets with a fresh coat of paint. Go even further by replacing cabinet pulls and knobs with new hardware. These simple changes are quick and inexpensive, and will make your kitchen look brand new without having to do a complete remodel.   4. Install a Dishwasher Consider installing a dishwasher (or replacing an old one) to both conserve water and  up your game in the kitchen. If you spend a lot of time cooking and feeding your family, an energy-efficient dishwasher will not only save you money on your water bill, but save you time as well. Take the time you used to spend washing dishes and get outside to enjoy the summer!    5. Add a Water Filtration System If you are someone who ends up buying a lot of bottled water because you don’t like the taste of your tap water, a reverse osmosis system will be a valuable update for your home. A good quality under-sink system will cost between $150-$500, and will save you money in the long run.    6. Update Your Lighting Brighten up your home and save money by replacing old bulbs with new energy-efficient ones. Clean or replace lamp shades and light fixtures for a refreshed look and brighter lighting. Or consider installing dimmer switches to create warmth in rooms where ceiling lights are too harsh.   7. Put Down Fresh Caulk  Get rid of old, cracked caulk around sinks, bathtubs, and shower stalls, and lay down a fresh bead of caulk. Caulk is cheap, and this simple fix will prevent mildew and leave your bathroom looking clean and tidy.   8. Add a Bathroom Vent Fan Speaking of the bathroom, if yours doesn’t already have a vent fan, now is a great time to add one. Unvented bathrooms accumulate moisture, resulting in peeling paint, warped cabinetry, and even mold and mildew growth over time. Save yourself time and money on future repairs by installing a vent fan.   9. Install Ceiling Fans  Believe it or not, ceiling fans can provide substantial energy savings year round. They circulate warm air in winter and create cool breezes in summer, reducing the strain on your heating and cooling systems. Consider installing ceiling fans in your living areas and bedrooms to improve comfort while saving your HVAC system some wear and tear.   10. Switch to a Programmable Thermostat Here’s another idea that will save you money and give your HVAC system a break, while also upgrading your lifestyle. A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically change the indoor temperature while you are sleeping or away from home. Some higher-tech models even allow you to adjust your home’s temperature while you’re gone by using a smartphone app.    These 10 things will get you off to a great...

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[vc_row][vc_column][qodef_custom_font font_family="Archivo" font_size="60px" line_height="70px" font_weight="700" text_align="left" content_custom_font="6 Reasons to Invest in Professional Duct Cleaning" color="#000000"][vc_empty_space height="20px"][vc_column_text] The buildup of dust, mold, and other allergens in your home’s ductwork can have an effect on your family’s health and the health of your heating and cooling systems. Removing contaminants from your HVAC system will greatly reduce these effects and lead to cleaner air in your home, among other benefits. Here are our top 6 reasons to invest in regular professional duct cleaning.   1 - Allergies Bacteria, mold, fungi, and other allergens can grow in the tight spaces of your air ducts. Pet fur, dander, dust, and dust mites can also build up in your system. Since the air in your home is circulated through your air ducts several times a day, this buildup can aggravate allergy symptoms. Regular duct cleaning can provide significant relief to family members with allergies. 2 - Mold Since most HVAC systems are located in the basement of the home where moisture levels are highest, it’s likely for mold to be present in your air ducts. The likelihood is even higher if your basement has been damp, flooded, or otherwise water damaged in the past. 3 - Dust When you dust your home, but find that it’s dusty again within a few days, that could be an indication that your ducts need to be cleaned. Regular professional duct cleaning will result in your home staying dust-free for longer periods of time. 4 - Odors Dust in your air ducts collects the smells of food, smoke, cleaning products, pets, and more. As your HVAC system circulates the air through your home throughout the day, all of your home’s odors will circulate as well. Clean duct work means fresher-smelling air. 5 - Pest Infestation There are many reasons to avoid a pest infestation in your ductwork, not the least of which being that insects and rodents leave droppings and other materials that harm the air quality in your home. Pests love dirty ductwork - keeping your system clean will discourage them from gathering there. 6 - Efficiency The buildup of dirt and debris in your ductwork can hinder your HVAC system’s airflow, causing it to work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This excess strain can lead to higher energy bills, as well as more frequent repairs and a shorter lifespan for your system. Having your ductwork regularly inspected and serviced will result in cleaner air circulating through your home and a more efficient, longer-lasting HVAC system.   Find more information on Titan Heating & Cooling air duct cleaning services here, and give us a call to schedule your next cleaning - 651.714.8931. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

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