Improve Your Health & Home This Spring with a Humidifier

Categories:

Low humidity is one of the many benefits of living in the west.  Here in Colorado and Wyoming we enjoy pleasant summers, and winters free of damp, bone-chilling cold.  However, just as there are downsides to high humidity, there are also some concerns with low humidity.  The key is achieving and maintaining optimal humidity.

Ideal Humidity Levels

Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air.  Too little moisture results in the all-too-familiar dry, chapped, itchy skin and irritated nasal passages. Dry air makes us more susceptible to viruses and bacteria, and can worsen symptoms of colds, flu and allergies.  Nose bleeds and snoring can also increase when humidity is too low. Lack of moisture creates static electricity and the annoying shocks that come with it.  On the other hand, too much humidity (above 50 percent) creates an environment where mold and dust mites flourish, contributing to allergies and respiratory problems.

Finding the right level for your comfort can take some trial and error.  Typically, somewhere between 40 and 48 percent will provide enough soothing moisture while still controlling mold and dust mites.

Humidifier Basics

In our dry climate, the best way to achieve the right humidity level is with a humidifier. Point-of-use humidifiers, which are portable and can humidify one room or several, are a popular option. Whole home humidifiers, however, offer several distinct advantages.

As part of your heating and cooling system, whole home humidifiers automatically maintain perfect humidity levels throughout your home, without the hassle of maintaining, cleaning and monitoring individual portable units.  Thanks to advanced technology, the whole home humidifier accurately measures the outside temperature and indoor humidity levels to provide just the right amount of relative humidity in your home. Different control options are available to best fit your needs.

Benefits of Using a Humidifier

Consider a whole home humidifier this spring and begin enjoying the many benefits to both you and your home:

  • Reduce symptoms and duration of colds and allergies.
  • Enjoy glowing, vibrant skin.
  • Improve sleep and relief from snoring.
  • Protect wood furnishings.
  • Extend the life of your hard wood floors.
  • Stay warmer at cooler temperatures and save energy.
  • Keep houseplants healthier.
  • Reduce static and electric shocks.

Still have indoor air quality questions? Contact your Rheem Pro Partner in Colorado or Wyoming today!

Thinking About Installing a Whole House Humidifier?

Categories: Tags:

It’s that time of year! Cold weather is right around the corner, which means right now is a good time to start thinking about installing a whole house humidifier. Anyone who has lived in the Colorado area for more than one winter season knows the dry wintertime air in Colorado can cause dry skin and various other respiratory issues for individuals who are sensitive to low humidity. A whole house humidifier can be very helpful because it does not require constant supervision and it does not run out of water – which can easily happen with a small, portable humidifier.

Whole house humidifier installation is not complicated, and can be completed by most HVAC companies. In Colorado, most companies that provide heating, cooling and ventilation services are experienced at installing a whole house humidifier. This type of humidifying system is highly desirable because it provides humidity to your entire house – not just to one specific room.

Following are some of the benefits of installing a whole house humidifier:

Indoor air that contains the right amount of humidity can be healthier. Anyone who has a sensitive respiratory system knows that it can be difficult to breathe excessively dry air. It’s more comfortable to breath slightly humid air. Also, dry air can cause a person to experience a sore throat and nose bleeds due to a dry nose. Dry air can also exacerbate asthma and allergy symptoms.

Your wood floors and wood furniture will appreciate a little bit of humidity. The dry wintertime air in Colorado can be harsh on wood floors, wood furniture, and other wood items in your home. But besides wood, other materials are susceptible to damage when exposed to dry air for an extended period of time. Adding a bit of humidity to your indoor air by installing a whole house humidifier can help preserve your household items.

Say goodbye to electric shocks. It’s never pleasant to touch something in your home and receive a slight electric shock because the air is too dry. When your whole house humidifier is producing the right amount of humidity, your indoor air will not be as dry. This should eliminate, or at least reduce, the number of electric shocks that you must endure during the wintertime.

Cold, dry winter air can be harsh on people living in a home with very low humidity. Because a whole house humidifier is connected to your HVAC system, it requires very little monitoring. A whole house humidifier is especially nice because it does not involve a tank that must be refilled – which is what is required of a small, portable humidifier.

There are many benefits to installing a whole house humidifier. Once installed, the system requires very little supervision or maintenance. The system should be shut off during the warmer months of the year, but this is something that most homeowners can handle on their own. If you require assistance with turning your whole house humidifier on and off when the seasons change, make sure to schedule an appointment with your local HVAC company.

Keeping Your Indoor Air Quality in Check With Air Conditioner Repair

Categories: Tags:
IAQ - Indoor Air Quality

If your indoor air quality is poor, and contaminated with pollutants, some of the people living in your home might suffer the consequences. While poor indoor air quality indoor air may not affect everyone living in the home, anyone with a sensitive respiratory system or other health issues might not breath as well as they could if the indoor air was pollutant-free. The same is true for office buildings and other structures in which a person spends a great deal of time during the day or night.

The bottom line is that poor indoor air quality is not optimal. If you feel that the indoor air you breathe on a regular basis is filled with pollutants, there are Denver HVAC contractors that can help. The problem might require air conditioner repair, or it may be possible to help alleviate the situation using another method.

To improve indoor air quality, try following these steps:

Use an air purifier. An air purifier is designed to remove particles or pollutants from the air and improve your indoor air quality. There are many different air purifier types and models – and they range from relatively inexpensive to expensive. The most effective air purifier for you will depend on the size of your home or building, and the cause of the impure air. Let an ac repair company provide you with more information on the best possible air purifier before you purchase one.

Make sure the air inside of your home or building is not too dry. Maintaining a certain level of humidity inside of your home or building can help improve indoor air quality. it may be possible to regulate the humidity level with your HVAC system. Denver HVAC contractors can provide you with guidance on how to add or eliminate humidity from indoor air.

Always change air filters on a regular basis. Excessively dirty air filters do not have the capacity to catch particles that fly through your indoor air. An air filter is supposed to filter air that travels through your HVAC system. But an air filter can only be effective when it’s clean or new.

Seal air ducts during construction. If your home or office is in the midst of a remodeling project, make sure to close your HVAC system’s air vents. When the vents are left open during construction, the dust and debris that fly through the air can be sucked into your HVAC system and circulated throughout the building – polluting the indoor air quality each time the system kicks on.

Indoor air quality is important and a top concern of homeowners as well as people that spend a great deal of time inside of an enclosed building every day for work. Poor indoor air quality can lead to respiratory issues and possibly other health problems. Denver HVAC contractors are highly experienced at evaluating indoor air quality, and can determine if you need ac repair or if your indoor air quality can be improved using another method. Call Rheem Pro Partner today to schedule an appointment for an evaluation of the quality of your indoor air.

The Importance of Your Air Conditioner Filter

Categories: Tags:
Air Conditioner Filter

The Importance of Your Air Conditioner Filter

As the summer months draw nearer and nearer, you likely need to do some routine maintenance on your air conditioner filter. However, most people don’t know just how critical it is to keep your air conditioner filters replaced. Most people understand that they play a leading role in maintaining the air quality of your home – which is true – but they do much more. Keep in mind that an old or dirty air conditioner filter will cause a lot of problems. The following are the benefits that fresh, clean air conditioner filter will provide your home with.

Energy Efficiency

The first reason that you should keep your filters replaced on a regular basis is energy efficiency. Some people fail to replace their filter, notice that their air conditioner is performing at suboptimal levels, and think that they need air conditioner repairs. Dirty or clogged filters, apart from being disgusting, can severely reduce the performance level of your air conditioner. As a result, your air conditioner will need to work harder – thereby consuming more energy and costing you more money.

Energy efficiency is extremely important for maintaining our environment and showing kindness to mother Earth, but on a more personal level energy efficiency means less wasted dollars on cooling. Colorado is well known for being extremely hot and dry in the summer, and we are much more dependent on our air conditioners than people from other parts of the country. As such, you can save a boatload of money by taking simple measures to maintain your filters.

Keeping Seasonal Allergens under Control

Sneezing, sniffling, and watery eyes are magnified by old and dirty air filters. If you have seasonal allergies, you absolutely need to stay on top of changing your filter. Filters in air conditioners help to trap allergens from recirculating in your home, but a dirty filter will do little to aid your symptoms.

Organic Matter, Hair, and Pet Dander

Furthermore, you must be diligent maintaining your aid conditioner if you have pets. Even if you don’t personally have pet allergies, you need to consider guests in your home. If a guest has pet allergies, they may still fall victim to negative symptoms even if you clean your home and isolate your pets if you have an old and dirty filter.

The Longevity of Your Air Conditioner

Not only does running your air conditioner with a dirty filter use more energy, but it also causes your air conditioner to work harder. This will decrease the useful life of your unit by increasing wear and tear. Trust us, it’s much easier – and cheaper – to replace a filter than it is to purchase and install a whole new unit. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and you need to regularly change your filters to get the best return on your investment in your air conditioner.

Air Conditioner Repairs in Denver, Colorado

If you think you need air conditioner repairs, don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer 24 hour service, and we want to make sure that your needs for air conditioner repair services are taken care of no matter the time of day.

Getting to Know Your Denver, CO Heating and Cooling System

Categories: Tags:
HVAC Denver CO, Heating and Cooling Denver

Getting to Know Your Denver, CO Heating and Cooling System

It’s important that you get to know your heating and cooling system a little bit better. If the only thing you know about your HVAC system is that the “cool” button makes cold air come out of it, and the “heat” button causes it produce warm air, then you might want to spend some time talking with your Denver, CO HVAC technician the next time you have a scheduled maintenance visit. The more you know about your heating and cooling system, the better equipped you will be to handle potential problems that may arise in the future.

Learning more about the following aspects of your heating and cooling system can be beneficial:

The thermostat. Believe it or not, there is much more to an HVAC thermostat than an on and off switch. Many of today’s modern heating and cooling thermostats are programmable. A programmable thermostat can be very useful in Denver, CO. The temperature in Colorado can vary greatly between day and night hours. During the summer in Denver, CO, a constant flow of cold air through your air vents might be necessary for comfort. But at night, you might not need such a cool temperature setting. If you know how to program your thermostat, your system can be set at a certain temperature during the day, and a different temperature at night. This can result in greater comfort as well as energy savings.

The air filter. Many homeowners who do not know their heating and cooling system very well are completely unaware that the system’s air filter should be changed on a regular basis. A clean air filter is essential to promoting the efficiency of your HVAC system in Denver, CO. Additionally, a clean air filter allows your HVAC system to effectively clean and filter the air that passes through it. This can promote a healthier indoor environment.

The vents. Your home’s air vents play a vital role in the distribution of hot or cold air into the rooms of your home. If air vents are closed or blocked, the air flow can be disrupted. This can result in a heating and cooling system that is not able to do its job effectively. By simply learning more about the effect of closed or blocked air vents can have on your HVAC system, you can easily create a more comfortable indoor living environment in your home.

The type of heating and cooling system. If your home is in Denver, CO, it may have one of several types of HVAC systems. Many of Denver’s oldest homes are equipped with heating and cooling systems that are very different from the system’s that exist in the area’s newest homes. The next time you have a Denver HVAC company at your home for a maintenance call or a service appointment, make sure to ask questions about your specific system and the best way for you to maintain it for the highest level of efficiency.

 

Heating & Cooling in Denver – Tips for Better evaporative cooler efficiency

Categories: Tags:
Heating & Cooling in Denver

Heating & Cooling in Denver – Tips for Better evaporative cooler efficiency

If you live in Denver, or anywhere in Colorado, you may benefit from learning more about how to most effectively run your heating and cooling system during the winter and summer. Correctly running your heating and cooling system in Denver can result in energy savings and a home that stays warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Additionally, a HVAC system that is operated correctly can be more efficient.

Here are a few tips for better heating and cooling results in Colorado:

An evaporative cooler can work well in a dry climate like Colorado. If your current HVAC system is not efficient at cooling your home during the summer, consider having an evaporative cooler installed. An evaporative cooler is not the same as a traditional cooling system. Additionally, an evaporative cooler will not work well in all types of climates. However, if you live in Denver, CO, an evaporative cooler can be extremely effective and may do a better job at cooling your home than a central air conditioner or a window air conditioner. If you are interested in learning more about how an evaporative cooler works, and why it works well in Denver (and may not work well in a very humid climate), make sure to ask a knowledgeable HVAC technician for more information.

Properly insulating your Denver home is important during the summer and the winter. Making sure your home is properly insulated is one of the most important methods for ensuring better results with your heating and cooling system in Denver. When a home is not well-insulated, it can leak air. During the summer, a home that is not properly insulated can be difficult to keep cool. Likewise, a home that is lacking proper insulation can feel drafty and cool during the wintertime. Adding insulation to a home is not always difficult nor is it always expensive. An HVAC technician in Denver, CO should be able to carefully look at your home and evaluate whether new or additional insulation will help your heating and cooling system function more efficiently.

Whole house fans can help cool a Denver home during the summer. In Denver, CO, the temperature can drop many degrees during the nighttime hours. In fact, a summer day that is brutally hot can turn into an evening with an extremely pleasant temperature. It is often unnecessary for Denver homeowners to run their HVAC system at night during the summer – especially if their home has a whole house fan. A whole house fan is large, and is installed in the ceiling on the top floor of the house. During the evening hours, when the home’s windows are open, the fan pulls cool air inside of the home, and expels hot air through a vent in the top of the house. A whole house fan is very effective and works well in Colorado’s climate.

Ceiling fans can do a great job of making people in your home feel cooler. Installing and running ceiling fans in your home is a great way to create an indoor environment that feels cooler. While ceiling fans do not actually change the temperature of a room, they create a “wind chill effect” that makes anyone in the room feel cooler. Ceiling fans work especially well in Denver, CO and are a great compliment to your HVAC system.

Energy efficient windows can keep cold air out during the winter and cool air in during the summer. Energy efficient windows are designed to help keep your home cool during the summer months and warm during the winter months. Just like insulation, energy efficient windows help keep your home sealed. If your windows are old and they seem to leak air, the installation of energy efficient windows can be extremely effective. If you have a heating and cooling system in Denver, CO that seems to be functioning well, but you are having a hard time keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, the issue might be related to your windows.

Large trees and ample shade offers relief from the heat in Denver. In Colorado, large trees that provide ample shade can do wonders for keeping your home cool during the summer. While it’s true that it takes small trees many years to grow large enough to provide a significant amount of shade to a home, the time to plant trees is now… not in 5 or 10 years. Homes with large trees in their front and back yards are highly desirable in Denver, CO!

A yearly tune-up on your HVAC system in Denver can prolong the system’s life. It’s much easier to keep a home’s heating and cooling system functioning well in Denver when the system receives regular HVAC maintenance and tune-ups. By scheduling a regular service appointment for your home’s heating and cooling system each year, you can greatly reduce the risk that something will go wrong. A maintenance check up allows an HVAC technician to check your system and make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible.

Take advantage of cool spring and summer days in Colorado. As most Denver, CO residents already know, springtime in Colorado can provide residents with many pleasant days. There are occasionally days during the summertime that are also on the cool side. When cool days are present in Colorado during the spring and summer, homeowners can take advantage of the weather by opening their home’s windows and letting in fresh air. When windows are open on a nice day, your home’s heating and cooling system is provided with a break. A break from running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can reduce the load you place on your HVAC system, which can ultimately prolong its life.

Colorado provides residents with a unique climate that is highly desirable. But the summers in Denver, CO can get very hot and the winters can get very cold. If you are homeowner in Denver, CO, it’s important to take good care of your heating and cooling system so that it is reliable and works efficiently and effectively when you need it.

What is Ductless HVAC in Denver, CO?

Categories: Tags:
HVAC Denver CO, Heating and Cooling Denver, ductless HVAC

If you are looking for an alternative to a traditional central air conditioning system and you live in the Denver, CO area, a ductless air conditioner system might be a good choice. Depending on the design of your home, as well as your cooling needs, a ductless air conditioning system has several advantages. For example, if your home does not have an air duct system that can support a central air conditioning system, a ductless air conditioning unit might work well. If your current air conditioning system is in need of ac repair or it must be replaced, you might want to consider a ductless air conditioner.

Besides being a good cooling system alternative for a home without an existing duct system, a ductless air conditioning system has the following other advantages:

A ductless HVAC system is easy to install in many Denver, CO homes. Some of the older homes in Denver, CO were built before air ducts were a standard feature. If your home has not been updated with a duct system that can support a central air conditioning system, a ductless air conditioning system may be an excellent choice.

It’s not necessary to cool an entire Denver, CO house with a ductless HVAC system. When you have a ductless air conditioning system installed in your home, you can cool one room at a time. With a ductless HVAC system in Denver, CO, there is no need to cool rooms in your home that are hardly ever used.

A ductless air conditioning unit does not require the same space as a window air conditioner. While a ductless system does require installation, and the unit(s) are not necessarily small, this type of system does not require you to give up a window as you would with a window air conditioner.

There are certain disadvantages associated with a ductless air conditioning system that are important to mention. For example, a ductless system is not necessarily aesthetically pleasing, and depending on how cool you like to keep your home, it can be more expensive to run than a window air conditioning unit.

Before you make a decision on which type of heating and cooling system to have installed in your Denver, CO home, it’s important to evaluate all factors. Do you already have sufficient air ducts installed in your home? Do you typically need to cool your home more than one or two months each year? Do you only need to cool one or two rooms instead of 7 or 8? Ductless air conditioning systems can be very effective and a good choice for many types of buildings – including homes and offices. But this type of system is not optimal in every situation.

If you are interested in learning more about whether a ductless HVAC system will work for your Denver, CO home, make sure to schedule a consultation with a Denver heating and cooling company. Rheem Pro Partner is able to visit your home and provide you with expert advice on which type of heating and cooling system will be the most beneficial. If you have decided that a ductless air conditioning system is the right choice, your HVAC technician should be able to provide you with guidance and help you select the right brand and size for your home.

How to Get Your HVAC in Denver, CO Prepared for a Summer Vacation

Categories: Tags:
HVAC Denver CO, Heating and Cooling Denver

How to Get Your HVAC in Denver, CO Prepared for a Summer Vacation

Are you planning to take a summer vacation this year? If so, it’s important to know how to prepare your HVAC system for your prolonged absence. If you live in or near Denver, Colorado, you should be aware of important steps to take before you leave town.

These tips should help you prepare your Denver, CO home and HVAC system for your departure:

Don’t forget to adjust your HVAC thermostat. If your home is in the Denver, CO area, you must know that the outside air during the summer typically drops significantly at night. Additionally, the humidity level in Denver, CO is much lower than it is in other geographic locations of the United States. Therefore, unless you are planning to leave pets at home while you are out of town (or you have indoor plants that require a certain temperature), there may not be a reason to leave your HVAC system running at full force while you are out of town. Many homeowners in the Denver, CO area set their HVAC thermostat in the low to mid-80s while they are out of town. This temperature setting can save a significant amount of energy which can result in a lower energy bill.

Avoid turning your HVAC system completely off while you are out of town. Many people instinctively believe that turning off their Denver heating and cooling system while they are out of town is the right choice. But instead of turning your air conditioning system completely off, adjust the thermostat so that it’s set for a relatively high temperature. This will allow for regular air circulation and will prevent your home from reaching an unbearably hot temperature.

Have your HVAC system serviced before you leave town. When you are planning to be away from home for more than a few days, it’s important that all of the appliances in your home are in good working order before you leave town. The last thing you want is to have to worry about whether something will go wrong with one of your appliances while you are away. Your heating and cooling system is no exception. Call your Denver, CO HVAC company before you leave town and schedule a regular service call. An HVAC tune-up prior to your trip will allow you to rest assured that your heating and cooling system is in good working condition while you are away from home.

Help your home stay cool by closing curtains and pulling down window shades. If you are leaving town during the middle of the summer and you are planning to increase the temperature on your thermostat, do your Denver, CO HVAC system a favor and close your home’s curtains and window shades before you leave town. Keeping curtains and window shades closed should help the temperature inside of your home stay as cool as possible. Also try other natural methods to keep your house cool, such as adding weather stripping and keeping as many lights off as you can.

For additional tips on how to prepare your Denver, CO heating and cooling system for your extended vacation away from home, please give Rheem Pro Partner a call. We are happy to provide you with our experienced advice on how to keep your home as cool as possible while you are out of town – without running your HVAC system full force while you are away from home.

Maintaining Your Whole House Humidifier During the Summer

Categories: Tags:
Whole House Humidifier

If you are thinking about whole house humidifier installation and you are in the process of learning how to install a whole house humidifier, it’s important to understand the maintenance requirements of this type of system. A humidifier that is designed to add moisture to your household’s interior air can be beneficial to the health of everyone living in your home. It can also help protect your wood furniture and your hardwood floors from cracks that can be caused by dry air.

Whole house humidifiers can be very beneficial during cold and dry months. But depending on the climate in which you live, the system should usually be shut down during more humid summer months. This is because excessive moisture and humidity in your home can lead to the growth of mold within the system – which can obviously lead to negative effects all around.

When seasons change and outdoor weather becomes warm, this should be a signal that it’s time to shut down your whole house humidifier for the next several months. But for best results, it’s important to make sure it’s shut down properly. A proper shut down will ensure that the humidifier does not have the opportunity to become contaminated with mold during the hottest months of the year.

Steps to shutting down your whole house humidifier during the summer:

  1. Make sure your whole house humidifier is turned off.
  2. Locate the water supply to the humidifier and turn it off.
  3. If the system has a duct damper, close it.

The steps to shutting off a humidifier are relatively straightforward. In fact, if you are able to figure out how to install a whole house humidifier, you should have no problem shutting down the humidifier for the summer.

Any homeowner that requires assistance with whole house humidifier maintenance should contact a local HVAC company that has technicians experienced in whole house humidifier installation. Because shutting down a humidifier for the summer months does not usually require extensive work, the company you hire for this job should charge you a reasonable fee for this service.

Did you forget to turn off your whole house humidifier last summer?
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to forget to turn off their whole house humidifier at the beginning of spring or summer. If you forgot to turn off your system last year, don’t worry. It’s probably fine. But this year, make sure to disconnect the system so that it doesn’t have the opportunity to grow mold or add unwanted humidity to your home on days when outdoor humidity is already high. Again, if you would like help shutting your system down for the summer, simply call an HVAC company that is knowledgeable about whole house humidifier installation.

If you shut down your whole house humidifier for the summer and the interior of your home still feels unusually humid – despite the fact that your central air conditioning system runs round-the-clock, there might be a problem with the humidifier or something wrong with your air conditioner. Make sure to have the situation checked out before serious problems have the opportunity to develop.

Avoid Problems With your Air Conditioner and Furnace During Home Construction Projects

Categories: Tags:

If you are about to begin a home remodeling project, congratulations! You are probably very excited to get the project started. But before you or your contractor start tearing down walls, drilling holes, or sanding wood floors, make sure to prepare your home’s HVAC system for all of the dust and debris that will inevitably be airborne in your home for the duration of your remodeling project.

There’s little debate that a home remodeling project creates a lot of dust. The dust that is generated by a remodeling project flies through the air and eventually settles on a surface. That surface might be a bookshelf, a table, a chair, or your carpet. But some of the dust will inevitably end up in your home’s air ducts and within your home’s furnace and/or air conditioning system. Excessive dust that results from a home remodeling project can cause damage to your home’s HVAC system. This is why it’s important to prepare your HVAC system before your project begins. You will want to do everything possible to avoid the need for air conditioner repair or emergency furnace repair that can result from construction dust and debris.

How to avoid problems with your air conditioner and furnace during a home construction project:

Cover the air vents in rooms where construction is taking place. If possible, cover all air vents so that dust and debris cannot seep into the vents. Dust and debris inside of air vents may eventually make its way into your HVAC system. It will likely get caught by your system’s air filter, but the filter will quickly become full and ineffective. This can lead to damage to your HVAC system.

Even if you block air vents in rooms where construction is taking place, change your air filters frequently. No matter how hard you try, dust and debris is likely to make its way to your furnace filter. By changing the air filter more often than normal, it will help ensure the air filter does not restrict proper air flow.

Use your vacuum or a shop vac every day. If the construction project is causing a significant amount of dirt and dust, make sure to clear the debris as often as possible.

Get your air ducts cleaned after the project is complete. Once your home remodeling project is officially complete, you might want to hire an air duct cleaning service to clear all remaining debris from your air ducts. This is a great way to ensure there is no lingering dirt or dust.

Home remodeling projects can be dirty and dusty. Don’t let all of that dirt and dust make its way into your home’s HVAC system. To avoid the need for air conditioner repair or emergency furnace repair, plan in advance. By following the tips mentioned above, you will have a great chance of saving your HVAC system from the risk of costly damage