Indoor Air Quality Solutions

Many homes fall short when it comes to healthy indoor air quality, and you probably don’t even know it. But, when it comes to your indoor air quality, you should care, because according to CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities,” and “Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.” Luckily, there are simple solutions that will bring more fresh air into your home, improve your indoor air quality and reduce those pesky household contaminants. Keep your family breathing the best air possible with these tips.

1. Bring Nature Indoors

There are many benefits to houseplants. They will actually help clean indoor air, because of the way houseplants breathe. They take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. People and animals take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. When you bring house plants into your home you filter the air and bring in fresh oxygen.

2.Crack Windows

Your home doesn’t “breathe” well. It will recirculate the same air over, and over again. When you crack windows every now and then, you can improve your indoor air quality, because you are letting fresh air into your home, and allowing your home to “breathe.”

3. Turn Your Furnace Blower On

This is another great way to circulate indoor air in order to help improve your indoor air quality. When you have your furnace blower turned on it re-circulate the air, in your home, through your intake and back out of your home’s supply ducts. Although, in order for this to work the best it can, you need to make sure your furnace has been serviced. If your furnaced hasn’t been serviced it can cause more maintenance problems or even stop working altogether. It is important to keep your furnace serviced regularly. Contact an HVAC professional to keep your furnace serviced correctly.

4. Keep Air Filters Clean

The air filter in your HVAC system is the front line of defense against poor indoor air quality. The entire air volume in your home passes through the air filter multiple times a day. A clean filter will remove airborne particulates, ranging from dust to invisible microscopic particles. If your air filter is dirty, it will make your indoor air quality worse, as it circulates contaminates back into the air you are breathing. Your filters should be changed about once a month or according to your manufacture’s recommendations. You can either purchase filters and change them on your own, or have a professional do it for you.

5. Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned

The ducts are often the worst areas of the home in terms of indoor air quality. Which is a problem, since they circulate air around the home. Air ducts are not often cleaned, if at all, and that makes them a prime gathering place for airborne contaminants of various kinds. Things like dust, dander, pollen, germs, and mold spores all build up in the ducts. When your HVAC system is turned on either for heat or A/C it blows all those contaminates around your home, and you and your family breathe them in, which obviously isn’t good for your health. Duct cleaning removes those contaminants from your air supply, helping improve your indoor air quality, and allowing you to breathe easier. If your air ducts haven’t been cleaned at all, or a lot of time has passed since they’ve been cleaned, contact a professional today and start improving your indoor air quality.

The quality of your indoor air is important for your family’s health. Contact your heating and cooling experts today and start breathing fresh, clean indoor air!

Make Your Swamp Cooler Work Better

Swamp coolers are a very popular method of cooling during the Summer months on the Western Slope of Colorado because they work great in hot, dry climates, and can produce effective cooling at less cost than a standard air conditioner. Swamp coolers use a natural process of water evaporation with a simple air-moving system and will cool your space down very efficiently if you optimize the performance correctly. Follow these 5 steps to allow your swamp cooler to work the most efficiently.

Install Your Swamp Cooler Correctly

There is not one right way for swamp cooler installation. There are many different types of swamp coolers, and they are all installed differently. For larger coolers, like ones designed to cool an entire home, the swamp cooler installation process is more complex. These types of coolers will usually need to be mounted in an external wall with access to moving air. Swamp cooler installation for portable swamp coolers is more simple, as they just need to be plugged in, filled up, and turned on. Make sure to keep the water tank on your swamp cooler full, and the cooler should work to cool the air to the desired temperature. For more complex swamp cooler installation it may be a good idea to call a professional so that you don’t come across future issues.

Have A Window Open

Once you’ve gone through the swamp cooler installation process, it’s time let it do its job, and start cooling your desired space. Swamp coolers create moisture in order to create a cooling effect. If that moisture is able to build up in your home, your swamp cooler will become less effective. In order for the most sufficient cooling to take place the air being forced into a room/home needs an exit path, such as an open window. It is recommended to crack the window, not have them fully open, because you still want the majority of the cool air to stay circulating throughout the room or house. The general rule is a two square foot opening per 1000 cubic feet per minute (CFM ) the evaporative cooler provides.

Use It In The Right Conditions

Believe it or not, swamp coolers actually perform better when it’s warmer! In order for your swamp cooler to work the most efficiently, there needs to be a significant difference in temperature between cooling pads, the water, and the air. The humidity in the air should be less than 50 percent, which we don’t have a problem with here on the Western Slope of Colorado, in order for your swamp cooler to work the best it can.

Keep The Filters Clean

The main purpose of the water filter is to clear any impurities in order to maximize the evaporation. Swamp coolers exchange stale air for fresh air every one to three minutes. So, when your swamp cooler is running frequently during the Summer months the filter is picking up many different things from the air. Cleaning your filters will help keep the air you are breathing cleaner, and allow your swamp cooler to run more efficiently. If you are not able to clean the filters on your own, contact a professional for swamp cooler service.

Keep Up On Maintenance

In order to keep your swamp cooler running properly and efficiently, make sure to clean all of the components of your swamp cooler, and check that they are working correctly. It’s always a good idea to try and get this done before a heat wave. To make sure your swamp cooler is maintained properly, you should have a professional come out to perform swamp cooler service. This will also help extend the life of your swamp cooler unit.

A swamp cooler that runs properly and efficiently can make a big difference during the hot Summer months. For swamp cooler installation or swamp cooler service on the Western Slope of Colorado contact our professionals today!

home inspection services

What to Expect During an Attic or Crawl Space Inspection

When you have your attic or crawl space inspected by us there are a few different things we look for. Good insulation will ensure that you aren’t paying extra for heating and cooling. We’ll also inspect pipes, vents, and HVAC systems for damage.

Pipes and vents

If you are having heating, cooling, or plumbing issues, it could be starting above or below your house in the pipes, vents, and duct work. During our inspection, we’ll look over all the pipes and ducts in these areas to ensure there are no problems. If we do find issues, it is best to get them fixed sooner rather than later so you can avoid a bigger problem down the road.

attic duct work


We’ll make sure you have adequate insulation in both your attic and crawlspace. If you don’t have good insulation, you could be paying a lot more for heating and cooling than you need to. We can provide recommendations to make your home more energy efficient.


No one likes dealing with pests and they can really cause a lot of damage. Pests tend to gravitate towards crawlspaces, attics, and other out of the way areas you probably don’t frequently use. We’ll be sure to inspect for damage from pests so these issues can be taken care of.

Knowing what to look for and trying to remember the maintenance you need to do can be a challenge. That’s why we offer such plans as our energy savings maintenance agreement. This plan will maintain your heating and cooling systems, includes a plumbing inspection, attic and crawl space inspection, and a courtesy water heater flush to ensure we find any potential problems. Our plans can include 2 visits per year for up to 3 years, 1 visit in the spring and 1 visit in the fall. Learn more about us and the services we offer!

spring clean your plumbing

Spring Cleaning for Your Plumbing

Spring is here! This has many people thinking about the projects they’ve neglected over the winter months or the spring cleaning you need to get started on. Don’t forget about your plumbing! Here are some tips to keep your pipes and other plumbing fixtures running smoothly.

Check over your plumbing fixtures

The fluctuations in temperatures throughout winter and summer can take a toll on your pipes and other fixtures. Especially with the weather we have in Montrose, it doesn’t stay at one temperature for very long and the freeze and thaw cycle can be rough on plumbing. Be sure and check outside faucets and hydrants. You’ll also want to keep an eye on any plumbing that is in colder areas such as an entryway, garage, or near external walls.

Clean your drains

The cooler temperatures throughout your home make things like grease and soap much more likely to stick to the walls and side of drain pipes. Over time, this scum can build up and start to catch things like hair, small food particles, and other items. A gradual build-up can cause some bad blockage in your drains. We don’t recommend using chemical drain cleaners as these can corrode your pipes and cause further damage. Use a drain snake to clear your drains or have them inspected and cleaned by a professional.

white modern bathroom
Check for leaks

The harsh winter weather can cause lots of stress on your plumbing and it’s good to check it for leaks. Cold weather can cause seals to become brittle and break and cause pipes to crack. To see if you might have a leak, check your water reading when no water is running. Then don’t use any water for several hours and check the reading again. You can do this before going to bed or going to work to ensure no water is used. If it seems you have a leak, we can help identify problem areas and fix them.

Think your pipes and other plumbing fixtures might need some professional help? Contact us about our plumbing services or give us a call at 970-249-6790.

Getting Your AC Ready for Spring and Summer

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. Instead of waiting until the heat comes, get your air conditioning unit ready now. During the start of the summer months, we get a lot of calls for fixing air conditioning units, it’s best to inspect yours ahead of time.

Change the filter

Most people don’t change the filters in their air conditioners often enough. Before you start to use your unit, check to make sure the filter doesn’t need cleaned or replaced. You should be replacing the filter on your air conditioner once a month when it is in use. Some air conditioners have a permanent, reusable filter. If yours has a permanent filter, clean it once a month with a water and vinegar solution.

Clean the lines in your AC unit

The condensation lines in your air conditioning unit can become plugged up with debris. You really don’t want this to happen as this can cause a big mess. It can also be expensive to repair. A lot of times these lines become backed up due to algae growth. If it is not draining properly, you can use an algaecide to kill the algae growth.

Remove debris from around the unit

After a long season, a lot of things can grow around or even in the air conditioning unit. Look for tall grass, weeds, or vines that may be obstructing it. Be sure and remove any plants or other items that are blocking it and making your air conditioning less effective.

Clean the coils and fins on the outside of your AC unit

After sitting unused for a long period of time, your AC unit can collect a lot of dust and it is exposed to the elements, especially if you don’t use a cover. Disconnect the power and wash down the outside of your AC unit. If it is extra dirty, you can buy a specialized cleaner for your unit. To clean the fins, gently clean with a soft brush. Also try and straighten out any severely bent fins.

Do you want to get your air conditioning unit inspected before the hot weather hits? Contact us about getting your unit serviced. We also install new units and programmable thermostats.

Home Heating Systems: A History Lesson

Aren’t we lucky to be able to keep the frigid Colorado winter temperatures outside and keep the inside of our homes so nice, warm, and cozy? For so many of us, we take that for granted. We know that if we push the up arrow on our thermostat, our house gets warmer, and we don’t give it another thought. But how did that come about? Our ancestors didn’t always have the luxury of an automatic in-home heating system. Let’s go back in time to thank those who gave us such warm comfort!

Millions of years ago: The first humans on this planet created a campfire. The campfires were then brought into their living space in an effort to heat their home.
2500BC: Ancient Greeks were found to have been the first to develop central heating using radiant heat by way of the ground. There has also been evidence that the Roman Empire used hypocaust furnaces throughout their structures. These ancient furnaces would filter warm air through hollow spaces under the floor.
1200AD: The first types of chimneys appeared around this time created and used by Cistercian monks in Europe.
1624: Thanks to French architect Louis Savot, the use of a raised grate underneath firewood allowed the heat to circulate within the fireplace. It would draw the cool air in through the grates and fuel the fire.
1742: Benjamin Franklin invented the Franklin Stove. This cast iron furnace was designed to produce more heat and less smoke than an open fireplace. The cast-iron would also absorb and radiate heat for a longer period of time.
1880: Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, which in itself, creates heat.
1885: Professor Warren Johnson invented the first electric thermostat resulting in the Johnson Electric Service Company.
1905: American metallurgist Albert Marsh and inventor and entrepreneur William Hoskins patented the alloy chromel (known as nichrome today), which was over 300 times stronger than other available alloys. This durable and high resistance wire was needed in order for the electric heater to work. (This is the heating element used in a toaster).This invention dubbed Marsh as the “father of the electrical heating industry.”
1919: Alice H. Parker received the first patent for inventing the central heating system using natural gas. Her design allowed cool air to be drawn into the furnace, transmitted through a heat exchanger which then delivered the heat to individual rooms through ducts.
1935: Scientists invented a forced convection wall heater which used a coal furnace and an electric fan, to push heat through ducts.
1943: George Löf designed a flat-plate solar heating unit and installed it on the roof of his house in Boulder, Colorado.
1948: Robert C. Webber created the first electric heat pump by reusing the wasted boiling water from his deep freezer.
2017: Researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research developed a technology that allows solar energy from the summer to be stored in the form of chemical energy to be used in the winter. It’s still a prototype but could be a way of the future.
2019: Today we are blessed to have an assortment of ways to heat our house, but the majority of Americans use a central furnace to provide whole-house heat.

Many of our modern day conveniences wouldn’t be around today if it wasn’t for all the inventors of times past. We can enjoy warm and comfortable homes, even in the freezing cold temperatures of winter. We can keep your furnace up and running to keep you warm. Heating systems are one of the biggest utility expenses for Colorado homes on the Western Slope. We can identify any inefficiencies, as well as provide you with options for a new high-efficiency system if necessary.

Sometimes blessings are curses because even today our furnaces need to be maintained, repaired, and replaced as they age or break. If you experience an issue with your furnace give SAM’s a call and we’ll send a professional technician to evaluate the issue. In the meantime, jot down our phone number (970) 249-6790 and then settle in your comfy clothes and appreciate the history of how convenient warming your house is.