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State License Number #30725 & #30306

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Why Burning a Candle Can Cause a Black Filter

If you have a black filter and you are known to burn candles, especially scented candles, this could be the reason for the black filter. One way to find out is to stop burning candles and check your filter a couple of weeks later, if the filter is still black call an experienced HVAC provider to inspect your system. If the filter is not, candle burning is the likely culprit. The reason for this is every time you burn a candle, black soot is produced and this soot gets sucked into your duct system which then collects on your filter turning it black. If you don’t want to stop burning candles, there are a few things you can do to try and stop the black filter.

  1. Keep the wicks short.
  2. Opt for all natural candles.
  3. Move the candle away from your return air vent.

Certification and Accreditation

      Reviews and testimonials from previous customers are a good way to find out more about a business and how it interacts with customers. Unfortunately,  they aren’t always reliable and only include the input of the individual writing the review. Certifications and accreditations from businesses and third parties, however, are impartial and are based on evidence from reliable sources such as testing and the government.

      Here are two different certifications and accreditations from different organizations that are common in the HVAC industry and for businesses in general.



            NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It is a certification organization and is the industry standard for HVAC professionals. Certifications from NATE assure customers that the technicians are well-qualified to work on their HVAC systems.

            In order to be certified by NATE, technicians are tested on their basic knowledge of HVAC for entry-level testing and on their knowledge of more specific areas for professional level certifications. Certifications typically last for 2 years and in order to maintain certification, technicians are required to participate in 16 hours of specialty-related continuing education within those 2 years.






            The BBB is an organization with the mission of “advancing marketplace trust” (BBB) between businesses and consumers. Similar to certification from NATE, accreditation from the BBB is a standard for businesses and an assurance to customers about the business they are working with.

            The BBB’s accreditation is given to businesses which operate honestly and reliably in their interactions with customers. The BBB looks at 8 different categories with different specific criteria, including transparency and honest advertising, when considering accreditation. More information on all of the criteria for accreditation can be found here.

In order to become accredited, businesses must submit an application for review by their local BBB. It should be noted that accreditation is separate from a business’ rating from the BBB and is based on different criteria.




            Any business, whether accredited or not, can receive a rating from the BBB. A business’ rating represents “…the BBB’s opinion of how the business is likely to interact with its customers” (BBB) and ranges from A+ to F. These ratings are based on information from public sources as well as from the business itself. The BBB reviews this information and looks for indications of good and bad business practices, including any prior complaints and licensing / government actions filed against the business. More information about the specific criteria for the BBB’s ratings can be found here.

HVAC-R Terminology

Terminology used in any industry can be confusing and difficult to grasp, but when it is about something in your home that you use every day, it can be even more frustrating. We’ve compiled a list of commonly used terms in the heating and cooling industry to help you understand what they mean and how they affect your home.



-British thermal unit. One BTU is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit and is equivalent to the amount of heat given off by a wooden match. This is used in both heating and cooling. For heating, this is the amount of heat given off by burning fuel. In cooling, it is the amount of heat removed from the air.

Condenser Coil

– Part of the air conditioner.  Removes heat from the refrigerant and forces it from a gas state to a liquid state.

Evaporator Coil

– Part of the air conditioner. Allows the cooled refrigerant in liquid state to cool tubing and metal fins. Air is then passed over the tubing and metal fins, which cools the air.

Energy Star

-Established in 1992 with the Clean Air Act by the EPA, Energy Star is an efficiency rating given to products that meet its standards. Products are tested in third-party laboratories which have been approved by the EPA.

Flame Sensor

-A safety device that detects the presence of a flame in the furnace. When the senor detects a flame, it allows gas to continue to be pumped and keep the flame lit. If it does not detect a flame, it stops the gas flow. This helps prevents unused fuel to enter the air and cause a safety hazard.

Heat Exchanger

-A device inside of the furnace that is heated by combustion. Air is the blown over it, which heats the air. That air is then circulated through the home.

Heat Pump

-a device which absorbs heat from the outdoor air and then transfers it to the heat sink in order to heat the air in a home.

Heat Sink

-where the heat from a heat pump is deposited. It is either inside the house or outside of it, depending on what mode the heat pump is set at.


-Stands for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration.

NATE Certification

-NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It is an organization that tests HVAC technicians on their knowledge about the industry and the systems they work on. It is an industry recognized standard of excellence for HVAC technicians.


– Gas used to cool air in an air conditioner. The gas is compressed to a liquid state and cooled. Air is then passed over the line the refrigerant is located in. That refrigerant absorbs the air’s heat and cool air is pumped into the home.

SEER Rating

-SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is the measurement by which all air conditioner and heat pump cooling effects are rated. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. It is given in whole numbers.


-A measurement of energy equal to 12,000 BTUs per hour, or one ton of cooling.

Warning Signs in Your Furnace and A/C

Did you know that your furnace and air conditioner can give you warning signs? Like most machines, furnaces and air conditioners often show symptoms before a break down. Home owners don’t always know what these signs are or what they mean, but this list will help you recognize and identify possible problems and warning signs of future problems.

Rising gas & electric bills are an indication that your furnace or air conditioner is having to work harder than usual to maintain temperatures. Unusual noises coming from either unit can indicate loose or broken parts. Liquid leaking from your units or pooling around them can be an indication that a drain is clogged. If your units are having difficulty “keeping up” with the thermostat settings, it can be a sign that the system may need a repair.

A serious set of signs from your furnace are if your pilot or main flame light has a yellow color and if you and your family are suffering from nausea, headaches, and flu-like symptoms. These are all indications of a carbon monoxide leak in the heat exchange in the furnace, which can be fatal and  requires immediate response.

For your air conditioner, foul odors emanating from the unit are a sign that it needs to be cleaned. Warm air flowing from the vents when the unit is turned on is another symptom that your air conditioner may need service.

A maintenance agreement for your units can help avoid these issues and the possibility of a break down. Having a technician check and tune-up your furnace and air conditioner before they are used each season allows problems to be discovered and addressed before they begin to affect you and your family.


If you would like to know more about maintenance agreements or possible problems, call us today!

Importance of Maintenance Agreements

A surprise isn’t always a good thing, especially when it is a surprise break down. Like your car, your furnace and air conditioner need regular maintenance in order to run efficiently and help avoid break downs. Luckily, we offer maintenance agreements to help you do just that.

Under our maintenance agreement, we would call you to schedule an appointment for maintenance that fits your schedule. We would then come out twice a year, once in Spring/Summer for your A/C and once in Fall/Winter for your furnace. During these visits we would perform a number of tests to check that your systems are operating well and provide tune-ups on various components of the system. For your air conditioner we would make sure that the refrigerant is at the correct pressure, cycle the system, clean the condenser coil, measure temperature, measure the air flow, and tighten electrical components. For your furnace we would clean the burner assembly, clean and check the heat exchange for a carbon monoxide leak, check the flue draft, clean the condensate drains, clean the ignition assembly, tighten the electrical components, lubricate all moving parts, and measure the temperature difference.

Performing this maintenance on your systems may seem like overkill, but it is crucial to your system.  Having someone regularly check and service your units allows you to avoid common causes of break downs and diagnose potential problems before they begin. Regular maintenance also extends the life of your units, giving you more value for your investment, and is required for extended warranties on new equipment after installation. Lastly, the service gives you peace of mind that your units will work when you need them to and keep you and your family comfortable.


Are you interested in a maintenance agreement with us? Call us today for more information about the service, pricing, and how to set up your maintenance agreement!

Humidity in Your Home

When people think of comfort in their homes, temperature is one of the first things that comes to mind. But what about humidity? Humidity, when too high or too low, can affect everything in your home, from your personal comfort to the well-being of your furniture, clothing, and wallpaper.


When the humidity is high, mold and mildew can grow on high-cellulose wood, paper, and fabric. These can damage your furniture, clothing, and even the structural components of your home such as dry wall and floors. Mold and mildew can aggravate allergies, cause asthma symptoms, cause skin irritations to develop, and make you generally uncomfortable. Some of the molds that can grow in your home can be very dangerous. One of these molds is Stachybotrys chartarum. This mold releases mycotoxins which can cause severe health problems. [CDC]


While high humidity can cause significant problems in your home in the summer, there is often a lack of humidity during the winter. When a furnace runs for an extended amount of time, the air in your home dries out. This can aggravate asthma, as well as cause dry skin, and make you uncomfortable. A humidifier can help alleviate these symptoms by returning moisture to the air and enabling you to control the amount of humidity that emanates from your furnace, which gives you more control over your health and the health of your home. Unlike a single room humidifier, which only controls the humidity in one area of your home, a furnace humidifier works throughout the house. Furnace humidifiers are also easy to maintain. The unit is connected to your water line so there is no need to add water and the filter is easily changed.


Are you concerned about humidity in your home? Interested in a furnace humidifier? Call us today for an estimate!

Adjusting air flow in your ducts

     Some rooms need more airflow than others, and sometimes there is a temperature disparity between rooms and/or levels in your home. Adjusting the air flow rate in the duct can help to alleviate these issues. This can be done by adjusting what are called dampers in the system. There are basically three types of dampers – Face, Branch, and Main dampers. Face dampers are the ones that are on the face of the register itself. These can be used to regulate airflow if needed, but this is not the most desired method. 
     The second are the small levers located on the round branch ducts. These levers can be adjusted to regulate air flow closer to the source. If the lever is parallel to the pipe, the damper is open. If the lever is perpendicular to the pipe the damper is shut, and there is a varying degree of settings in between. These are the best dampers to use to regulate the air into individual rooms.
     Main dampers are the dampers that are located in the larger main trunk lines. Not all systems have these, but if installed it gives the home owner another avenue of adjusting airflow if needed. An example of this would be regulating the airflow out of either side of a tee fitting, and the levers themselves are often similar to branch dampers.
     Remember bathrooms need less incoming air than other rooms, and second floor rooms may need more. By using the dampers to limit or increase airflow you may be able to increase comfort levels in the home overall.

Keeping a maintenance log for your system

Whether you do the preventative maintenance on your heating and cooling system yourself or you have a professional company handle it, it is important to keep accurate records of the services done. Most manufacturer’s warranties are very similar to one another, and all require that preventative maintenance is performed on your system in order for the warranty to remain viable. If parts fail due to neglect of the owner, a warranty might not be honored. By simply keeping a record of how often you or your HVAC technician changes the filter and cleans the system, you have the ability to prove that you have taken the steps necessary to maintain your system. Choice Aire offers residential maintenance agreements to help with this task, and we would be happy to help you.

Heat exchanger inspections

Not all heat exchanger inspections are alike. There is a five step method of inspection recommended by both AHRI (Air-Conditioning, Heating, and refrigeration institute), and RSES (Refrigeration Service Engineers Society), and this method includes the use of a combustion analyzer tool. This Digital tool analyzes the particulates in both the flue gas and the air stream of a system, and measures the presence of many molecules, not the least of which is Carbon Monoxide. If your service company is using any other test method on your heat exchanger without the use of a combustion analyzer, they are not performing the test in a thorough manner. Please call Choice Aire this fall for peace of mind this winter.

Request Service

If you have an HVAC emergency, we highly recommend calling us at our 24/7 emergency service number so we can quickly address your concerns. Call 330-945-6223 to reach us immediately. For all other service requests, feel free to complete the form below, and a member of our team will respond during regular business hours.
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