What You Need to Know About Furnace Filters

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Maybe it is on your to-do list, or maybe you’ve thought about putting it on your to-do list… If replacing your furnace filter is not part of your regular home maintenance, though, it should be. This is one of the simplest, low-cost steps you can take to protect one of the most important investments in your home.

How a Furnace Works

While there are different models, most furnaces work by drawing in air from return ducts throughout your home, warming it over a heat exchanger, and then blowing the heated air with a fan through ducts that open into the various rooms. This is known as “forced-air.”

What a Furnace Filter Does

When the air comes into the furnace through the return ducts, it typically carries with it dust, hair and other debris. The purpose of the furnace filter is to keep all of that dirt from collecting in the blower fan. This has several benefits. It prevents damage and excess wear on your furnace; it helps keep your furnace running efficiently; and it keeps all that dirt from recirculating in your home, reducing allergens and improving your indoor air quality.

The furnace filter is only effective until it becomes full, however, so to keep your furnace, functioning properly, it should be replaced with a new one every 1-3 months, depending on the type.

How Filters are Rated

Furnace filters are rated on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale, which runs from 1-16. The higher the rating, the more particles the filter will trap. Higher ratings aren’t necessarily better, however. The highest rated filters may not allow enough air to flow through and can make your furnace work harder (less efficiently). Most furnaces work best with a filter rated between 8 and 11. Check with your furnace manufacturer to determine if your model has a recommended maximum MERV rating.

Filter Types

Disposables

The most common filters are the disposable, pleated variety. These are made of paper and polyester. They vary in price from a few dollars up to $40, depending on the rating, size and brand. Pleated filters should be checked monthly, to make sure there are no blockages, and replaced every 3 months.

Another type of disposable filter is made of fiberglass. This is the cheapest, but also the flimsiest. Fiberglass filters have the lowest MERV rating and should be replaced monthly, so consider that when you are pricing them against longer-lasting pleated filters.

Permanent

Permanent reusable filters are expensive, but last up to 5 years with proper cleaning (every 3 months). Also called washable filters, they have either an aluminum or plastic frame and are more efficient than disposables. Clean them with a vacuum and water.

Electrostatic Filters

Both disposable and permanent filters are available in electrostatic versions, which self-charge as air passes through them. The charge allows them to collect more particles. Homes with pets or smokers can benefit from electrostatic filters. Make sure that they are safe to use with your particular furnace.

Filter Sizing

Furnace filters are sized by thickness, height and width. Check the old filter for the size (typically printed on the frame) before buying a replacement. If your furnace takes a custom size, check with the manufacturer for where to purchase.

How to Replace Your Filter

Replacing your furnace filter is simple, but it helps to do a little preparation. First, turn off the furnace while you are changing the filter so it doesn’t turn on during the process. Next, have a trash bag ready for the old disposable filter, as it will come out full of dust and dirt. Then open the filter compartment door (between the air intake and the furnace), and slide the old filter out. If you have a permanent filter, vacuum it off before cleaning it thoroughly with water and let it dry completely. Vacuum the outside of the furnace and around the filter area if it is dusty before inserting the new filter. Look for the arrow on the filter that indicates the direction of airflow. The arrow must face the furnace side of the compartment to work properly. Slide the new/clean filter into the compartment and restart the furnace.

Check your furnace filter every month, and replace it (or clean it) every 3 months. Doing so will help keep your furnace running properly, reduce the risk of breakdowns, and keep your energy bills low.

Still need help or interested in upgrading your filter? Rheem Pro Partners are here to assist you. Contact us today.

Duct Sealing: Aeroseal Colorado

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Do you have any of these common problems associated with your HVAC system?

  • High energy bills
  • Air conditioner or furnace runs constantly
  • Musty odors or fumes
  • Rooms that are too hot or too cold
  • Excessive dust or humidity

If you are experiencing any of these, the problem may not be your HVAC system at all. The likely culprit is leaky air ducts.

Aeroseal Colorado can help. Aeroseal is an innovative, award-winning, highly touted, patented technology that stops leaks from the inside out.

Leaky Air Ducts Cost You Money

The biggest energy loss in your home may well be hidden behind your walls, ceilings and floors. Leaks happen regardless of age. They are common (up to 90% of buildings in North America are estimated to have leaks) and expensive (sucking up nearly 30 cents of every dollar spent on HVAC costs).

Aeroseal Saves You Money

Aeroseal saves homeowners an average of $300 per year on energy costs and makes your home more comfortable by

  • Preventing cooled or heated air from escaping to the outside or areas of your home where it isn’t needed.
  • Increasing energy efficiency.
  • Keeping your HVAC system from overworking and wearing out prematurely.
  • Reducing excess humidity and the damage it causes.
  • More effectively heating and cooling all rooms in your home.
  • Eliminating musty odors and improving indoor air quality.

The Aeroseal Process

Aeroseal’s trained technicians use specially designed software to measure the amount of duct leakage in your home. Next, they seal all the registers to make sure air is only escaping through the leaks. Aeroseal’s innovative process injects sealant into the ducts, then introduces tiny polymer particles that first stick to the edges of the leak, then to each other, until the leak is completely and permanently sealed. Finally, they complete the computer program to analyze the result and verify that all the leaks are sealed. The entire process takes just 4-8 hours.

Experts Agree

Aeroseal Colorado is recognized by numerous public and private entities, including the Department of Energy, Popular Science Magazine, the 2016 AHR Expo and Consumer Reports.

Don’t let leaky air ducts rob you of your comfort and your hard-earned money. Protect your investment. Contact Rheem Pro Partners or Aeroseal Colorado today to schedule a free consultation.

Is the Indoor Air You Breathe Healthy?

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Your home should be your sanctuary, but did you know that the air inside your home (and other indoor spaces) could be 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside? In some cases, it may be much worse.

The Problem:

Chemicals, mold, particulates and poor ventilation compromise indoor air quality.

Many of the items that make their way into your home emit thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particles into the air. Although these compounds can contribute to a number of health problems, they are not generally identified on product labels.  VOCs are used in many household items such as furnishings and building materials, as well as cleaners, laundry products and air fresheners containing synthetic fragrance.

Additionally, dust, dirt and debris containing pollutants and irritants come into your home on people’s shoes. Mold, which is caused by moisture, is another source of VOCs and particulates.   

The Solutions:

  • Use cleaners and laundry products that don’t contain harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances.  (Fragrance-free products are a great option.)
  • Don’t use aerosol sprays.
  • Keep large doormats at each entry to catch the majority of dust, dirt and pollutants on shoes. Consider making your home a shoe-free zone.
  • Choose a natural alternative to pesticides.  If you must use harsh chemicals, do so sparingly and with great caution.  Always read labels and follow directions carefully.
  • Maintain a healthy humidity level (30%-50%) to keep dust mites, mold and other allergens under control.  Fix leaks and moisture problems to prevent mold growth.
  • Keep indoor plants to clean the air naturally and brighten your space.  Ferns, spider plants and aloe are excellent natural air purifiers.  (If you have kids or pets, choose plants that are safe for them.) Be sure not to overwater your plants; overwatering can result in mold growth.
  • Vacuum, mop and dust often.  HEPA filters in vacuums prevent dust and dirt from blowing back through the exhaust.  Microfiber dusters and mops trap dirt without the use of cleaners or chemicals.
  • Don’t smoke.  Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 harmful chemicals and secondhand smoke poses a serious health risk to children.
  • Open your windows.  Fresh air can prevent the build-up of toxic chemicals.
  • Maintain your HVAC system.  Be sure to replace your furnace filters regularly.
  • Talk to an HVAC expert about a whole home air cleaner and humidification system.  A whole home system is the best solution to getting rid of 99% of indoor contaminants, as well as maintaining that healthy humidity level in your home to alleviate allergy and asthma triggers.

HVAC professionals can help you with your questions regarding the best indoor air quality solutions for your home.  And don’t forget to schedule your regular maintenance appointment.

For more information, contact your Rheem Pro Partner in Colorado or Wyoming today.

Benefits of Sealing Air Ducts

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There are many positive reasons to consider sealing air ducts in your home, office or commercial building. Even if you have an excellent HVAC system installed, it may not be able to maintain a constant indoor temperature – and the problem might be leaky air ducts. It’s essential that your air ducts have the ability to transport air effectively – and this can be difficult or impossible if the ducts are leaking. Sealing air ducts is an effective way to help with indoor temperature control, indoor air quality and several additional positive factors.

Air duct sealing is growing in popularity and is often recommended by HVAC companies because it can help your air conditioning, heating and ventilation system create a more comfortable and healthier indoor environment in your home or commercial building. If your HVAC company recommends air duct sealing, make sure to learn more about the process of sealing air ducts and exactly how air duct sealing can benefit you and the people that live, work or visit your home or building on a regular basis.

Some of the many benefits of sealing air ducts include:

Sealing air ducts can save you money. If your air ducts are leaking, the warm or cool air produced by your air conditioning system or furnace may not make its way to its intended destination. Instead, the air may leak out of the air ducts and into the attic, ceiling, floors, crawl spaces, etc. This can cause your HVAC system to work harder, which can result in a higher monthly utility bill. Air duct sealing can help alleviate this problem.

Air duct sealing can improve your home or building’s indoor air quality. When air ducts are properly sealed, they are the less susceptible to inadvertently transporting pollutants throughout your home or building. Air duct sealing can prevent various harmful particles, allergens and fumes from entering into your ventilation system.

The people living, working or visiting your home or building will benefit from a more consistent indoor air temperature. When air ducts are sealed and effectively able to carry warm or cool air to the vents that release air into various rooms, the indoor air temperature will remain more consistent. Leaky air ducts can create a inconsistent temperatures in between rooms – which can be uncomfortable and undesirable. Air duct sealing is an excellent solution.

Air ducts that leak can be highly problematic. One of the biggest issues with leaky air ducts is that many people do not realize the problem exists. Years can pass before any bothers to investigate whether their air ducts are problematic. Sealing air ducts is often a simple solution to indoor air temperature inconsistencies. In fact, you may believe that something is wrong with your HVAC system, but the problem is actually air ducts that leak air. If you would like to learn more about how to sealing air ducts and the air duct sealing process, make sure to contact a reputable HVAC company.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions for Your Home or Business

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Indoor air quality solutions are extremely important if your home or office building air is polluted. Many people do not realize that indoor air pollution can be just as prevalent and dangerous as outdoor air pollution. Most people that either live or work in an environment that has polluted indoor air want to know how to improve indoor air quality. One of the best lines of defense against indoor air pollution is proper and adequate ventilation.

Because indoor air quality can affect a person’s lungs and overall health, the American Lung Association is a proponent for indoor air quality solutions and has a considerable amount of information on its website related to how to improve indoor air quality. It also contains numerous indoor air quality facts.

Here is some of the information the American Lung Association has published on its website about common air pollutants:

Indoor air pollution caused by plants, animals, and other biological organisms: Indoor air can be polluted by various types of particles that stem from living things. When such pollutants are allowed to circulate in an indoor environment, they can cause people to become sick or develop an infection. Biological pollutants can be removed from indoor air through a proper ventilation system and through adequate cleaning techniques and various indoor air quality solutions.

Secondhand smoke from cigarettes. When a cigarette is smoked in a confined indoor area, the environment’s air can become polluted. It’s important to avoid smoking indoors in order to improve the indoor air quality in any home or building.

Harmful gasses, materials and chemicals. From carbon monoxide to asbestos to radon, harmful gasses, materials and chemicals are very dangerous pollutants that can infiltrate an indoor environment. If you suspect that your home or building might be harboring harmful gases, materials or chemicals, make sure to have the indoor environment tested for air quality problems.

Too much humidity in your indoor air. Excessive humidity indoors might not be a concern in certain climates. But if you live or work in a humid climate, excessive humidity can cause mold to grow. The existence of indoor mold can lead to health problems for individuals living or working in the building.

Indoor air quality solutions are important because indoor air pollution can adversely affect the health of anyone living or working in the polluted environment. Millions of people around the world suffer as a result of being exposed to indoor air pollution. This is precisely why it’s important to pay attention to indoor air quality solutions, and methods on how to improve indoor air quality.

It may not be easy to detect that there is a problem with your indoor air quality. But if anyone living or working in the building has unexplained headaches, feels exhausted for no explainable reason, has trouble breathing or coughs and/or sneezes excessively while in the building, you may want to have the building’s indoor air quality tested.

Unfortunately, there is not one single test that can detect the source of every type of indoor air quality problem. A visual inspection and various specific tests might be necessary. For more information about indoor air quality solutions for your home or business and additional indoor air quality facts, contact your local HVAC company for an evaluation.

 

Control Fall Allergies with Your Residential HVAC System

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Do you suffer from fall allergies? If so, it’s possible to control allergy symptoms with a residential HVAC system. If anyone living in your home suffers from allergies, it’s important to understand the important role a well-functioning residential HVAC system can play in your indoor air quality. The best HVAC systems are able to filter and eliminate a large percentage of allergens from your indoor air.

Common Fall Allergies
People can experience allergy symptom flare-ups at specific times of the year. During the fall, some of the most common allergy culprits are ragweed, other types of weeds and molds. If you or someone living in your home suffer from fall allergies, you are certainly not alone. Millions of people living in the United States dread the fall season because each year they must endure the effects fall allergies.

Many people do not realize that warmer fall temperatures can result in a longer allergy season. If you suffer from allergies, and you cannot find relief, make sure to utilize your residential HVAC system for relief. A residential HVAC system can be used as an effective tool to reduce the allergens that can infiltrate your indoor air during high-allergy times of the year.

Allergens Float Through the Air
Many allergens float through the air. When a person with sensitivities breathes in allergens, their body reacts. Typical reactions can include sneezing, coughing, itchy throat, and other cold-like symptoms. If you have allergies, it’s important to ask a medical professional for the best way to treat the problem. However, there are several methods that can be utilized to reduce your exposure to allergens. Some examples of preventive measures include:

  • Keeping your nose and mouth covered when allergens are high.
  • Dusting and vacuuming the inside of your house as often as possible.
  • Keeping your doors and windows closed so that allergens cannot enter your home.
  • Running your residential HVAC system round-the-clock so that it can filter your indoor air.

The Air Filter in a Residential HVAC System
During high-allergy times of the year, it’s especially important to maintain a clean air filter in your residential HVAC system. A clean air filter is more effective at catching allergen particles that float through the air in your home. A dirty or full air filter is not optimal, and can cause particles to permeate into your HVAC’s system’s ductwork. Replacing the air filter in your residential HVAC system is simple, and can make a huge difference in the quality of your indoor air.

If you have questions about how your residential HVAC system can be used to help rid your indoor air of allergens, call your local HVAC company. An efficient residential HVAC system can be very helpful and effective at eliminating bothersome allergens from your indoor air. An experienced HVAC company should be able to provide you with guidance and advice on which type of air filter might do the best job at eliminating allergens in your home.

Keeping Your Indoor Air Quality in Check With Air Conditioner Repair

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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.

Questions to Ask Before Agreeing to Air Conditioner Repairs

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If your air conditioner is not working properly and you believe you need air conditioner repair, make sure to ask your Denver HVAC contractor several questions before allowing the technician to begin repair work. First, it’s important to understand what the technician believes is wrong with your air conditioning system. Second, you will want to have a repair cost estimate before the work begins so there are no surprises. And, finally, if your air conditioning system is in need of expensive repairs, you might want to consider a new air conditioner installation instead of repairing the old one.

If you are in need of home air conditioner repair, make sure to ask your HVAC contractor these questions before giving the go-ahead for repair work:

What exactly is wrong with my air conditioning system? It’s important to know exactly what is wrong, and why it broke. If your HVAC technician cannot explain exactly what is wrong with your air conditioning system, you might want to get a second opinion.

Can you show me the part of my air conditioner that is broken or in need of repair? There is no reason that your HVAC technician should not be able to point out the area of your air conditioner that needs repair.

What caused the problem in the first place? There may be a specific reason that your air conditioner broke down. For example, the problem might be due to a consistently dirty air filter. If you understand why your air conditioner broke, you might be able to prevent the problem from occurring again in the future.

Could regular maintenance on my air conditioner have prevented the problem? It’s always good to know if certain air conditioner repairs could have been prevented. In many cases, an HVAC system that is kept in good working order through regular maintenance appointments does not need repairs as often.

What if the repairs don’t actually fix the problem? It’s never good to spend a significant amount of money on home air conditioner repair when the repair does not fix the problem. Make sure your HVAC technician provides you with information on company guarantees.

Do you think I should complete the air conditioner repair or should I consider a new air conditioner installation? If you feel as if your air conditioner contractor is pressuring you into a new air conditioner without trying to repair the system first, make sure to carefully consider your options before making a final decision.

Will you provide me with a written estimate for the repairs? A written estimate is important because it allows you to understand the approximate charge for the repair ahead of time.

The abovementioned questions are not an complete list that can or should be asked of your Denver HVAC contractor. Make sure to ask your technician any questions that come to your mind before authorizing repairs. You want to feel confident that you are making the right decision – especially if the repairs are expensive.

What Happens During an Air Conditioner Maintenance Appointment?

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You’ve probably been told many, many times that it’s extremely important to schedule a yearly HVAC maintenance appointment for your central air conditioner system. If you live in Colorado Springs, Colorado – or anywhere in the vicinity, you know that the state of Colorado can experience very warm summer months. The best way to make sure your central air conditioning system functions well during the year’s hottest months is to have a Colorado Springs HVAC company visit your home during the springtime to perform a tune-up on your HVAC system.

Even if you understand the importance of a yearly central air conditioner maintenance appointment, you might not know what happens during the appointment. There are certain tasks that your air conditioner repair technician should perform during your air conditioning system’s annual tune-up.

During an air conditioner maintenance appointment, you can expect that your Colorado Springs air conditioning repair company will complete some or all of the following tasks:

  • Checking the air conditioner’s electrical system
  • Looking for refrigerant leaks and adding more refrigerant when needed.
  • Cleaning the lines
  • Making sure all components are secured tightly
  • Changing the air conditioner system’s air filter
  • Evaluating the system overall and looking for potential problems
  • Checking for air flow blockages
  • Setting the thermostat for the upcoming season
  • Testing the central air conditioner to make sure it turns on and off properly
  • Completing small repairs

Yearly air conditioner maintenance is a good idea. If you have not schedule a service appointment for your central air conditioner this year, now is the time to get an appointment on your calendar. It’s never too late in the season for an air conditioning system tune-up. In fact, some homeowners prefer to wait until the winter to schedule their yearly maintenance appointment.

An yearly air conditioner maintenance appointment can help prevent the need for central air conditioner repairs during the hottest months of the year. Some Colorado Springs, CO air conditioning repair companies offer annual air conditioner maintenance plans. Make sure to talk with your air conditioner repair company about a service plan that will best suit your needs. If your HVAC system requires services that are not included as part of a typical air conditioner maintenance appointment, your HVAC technician should be able to accommodate the needs of your specific system. If it’s determined during your system’s tune-up that certain repairs are needed, your air conditioner repair technician may be able to complete the repairs right then and there.

Air conditioner maintenance is quite important because it helps ensure your system will not require central air conditioner repairs during the summer. If you have any questions about what happens during an air conditioner maintenance appointment offered by Rheem Pro Partner, please feel free to give us a call. Our Top Contractors are highly experienced at air conditioner maintenance and all types of central air conditioner repairs. Our services are available seven days a week.

Help Prevent Air Conditioner Problems by Naturally Purifying Your Indoor Air

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If your indoor air is filled with pollutants, your air conditioning system might suffer as a result. When air circulates throughout your home while your air conditioning is running, the air travels through your home’s air vents. The air makes its way to your HVAC system, and through the system’s air filter. When the air inside of your home is dirty or polluted, your air conditioning system can suffer the consequences. By keeping the air inside of your home as pure as possible, you can help prevent air conditioner problems.

There are many techniques you can follow to help naturally purify your indoor air. Rheem Pro Partner, which is an ac repair company that serves Northglenn, CO and the entire Denver metropolitan area recommends the following:

Keep houseplants strategically placed throughout your home. There are several types of houseplants that are known for their ability to help reduce air pollution. The NASA Clean Air Study lists many of the most well-known air filtering plants. The list was compiled in 1989 as part of a study that was conducted to determine ways to clean the air in space stations. Many of the plants on the list are easy to keep in a home.

Use good air filters in your HVAC system. There are basic air filters that can work very well to clean the air in your home, but there are also filters that are extra efficient. HEPA filters can cost a bit more than basic air filters, but they can do an excellent job of cleaning your indoor air and removing pollutants that may lurk in your home.

Avoid cleaning products that contaminate the air. Certain cleaning solutions and products can cause your indoor air to become polluted. It’s always advisable to use all-natural cleaning products in your home, and avoid cleaning products that contain toxic ingredients.

Remove shoes, jackets and contaminated clothing before entering your home. If your shoes, jacket or clothes are covered in pollutants, make sure to remove those items before entering your home. The pollutants can easily fly off of shoes and clothes and into the air inside of your home. Despite the fact that you might not be able to see tiny particles, they can easily pollute your indoor air.

On high-allergy days, keep your windows closed. Even though the outdoor temperature might be pleasant and cool, keep your windows closed on high-allergy days. When pollens are high, particles can easily float into your home through open windows or doors. Once inside, the particles travel through your HVAC system when it’s running.

If it’s smoky outside, seal your house. In many geographic locations, wildfires are not uncommon. On days when fires are nearby, make sure to keep your windows and doors sealed unless you have to go outside. Removing the smell of smoke from a home can be hard on your HVAC system.

Air conditioner repairs can be inconvenient. Help your air conditioner stay in good condition by keeping your indoor air as pollution-free as possible. For more information on how to keep the air inside of your home as pollution-free as possible, contact your Northglenn, CO ac repair company today. Rheem Pro Partner is at your service seven days a week.