Everything to Know About Air Filters

FAQs About Air Filters

Air filters are easy for homeowners to forget about. They aren’t visible, and they aren’t changed too often. However, filters are essential for the proper function of an HVAC system. Although air filters are not responsible for regulating indoor temperatures, they play a significant role in air quality and proper airflow when replaced on time. This blog post will answer some commonly asked questions about AC filters.  

What Is the Point of an AC Filter?

An air filter is used to remove pollutants and allergens from the air and prevent them from getting into the HVAC system, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Although they look like simple contraptions, filters are extremely efficient. They work by catching the particles in small fiber openings before they have a chance to circulate throughout the home. Air can pass through the screen while contaminants remain caught inside the filter.

Since these pollutants are essentially trapped, the filter can get dirty and must be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. Otherwise, the particles will eventually cover the entire screen so air cannot circulate indoors, and the HVAC system will suffer. A dirty air filter can affect the HVAC system’s efficiency and its ability to cool or heat the home.

When Should an AC Air Filter Be Replaced?

filterThe average disposable air filter should typically be replaced at least once every three months. However, different types of AC filters can have different recommendations for how often to replace them. For larger households with many people or pets, homeowners may need to check their air filters every month and replace them more often. 

Pleated air filters are a popular choice for both new and old houses. These filters are contained in a plastic frame and use cotton or paper to catch contaminants. They are especially efficient at capturing microscopic pollutants but can restrict airflow. Foam air filters are much more porous. 

Less filter material is used in a foam filter. Although this is less likely to prevent cool or warm air from circulation, it is also less efficient at capturing airborne contaminants. Foam filters are measured by their pores per inch. A higher measurement of pores per inch will have a lower resistance to airflow. They are also one of the easiest types of reusable filters to clean.

Carbon air filters are ideal for those who smoke indoors. They can remove toxic gasses as well as odors and allergens. Air purifiers usually use carbon air filters with aluminum screens. Though they will not catch all pollutants, they do provide strong filtration.

Although disposable filters are the most commonly used filter, reusables do exist. A reusable filter will last much longer but must also be cleaned regularly. The average reusable filter should be scrubbed once per month.

What Are the Benefits of Air Filter Replacement?

saveReplacing a dirty AC filter when needed has many advantages, including that it helps reduce energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of the HVAC system. If the filter is clogged, the HVAC system must work harder to produce the set temperature. Even though additional energy is used, a home may not be able to stay cool or warm throughout the season with dirty air filters, so replacing them also improves comfort. 

Replacing air filters on time also improves indoor air quality and can reduce the symptoms of allergies. With better indoor air quality, those with certain autoimmune diseases and respiratory illnesses can also breathe easier in the home. If homeowners have more questions about their air filters or filter replacements, they can contact an HVAC technician for answers. 

About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning

PAC Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning has over four decades of experience serving Staten Island and the surrounding areas. They offer accurate diagnosis, fast turnarounds, and maintenance plans. Call them today for heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality services in Staten Island, NY

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Have Questions About Backflow? We've Got Answers!

What to Know About Backflow

Plumbing backflow is a serious problem that can contaminate drinking water and cause severe health risks, so it's crucial homeowners have some basic knowledge about it and how it’s prevented. This post will answer some questions homeowners may have about backflow, how it’s prevented, and backflow testing

What Exactly Is Backflow?

Backflow occurs when there is an unwanted flow of water going in the reverse direction. In this case, contaminants may enter a home’s clean water supply. It can occur when water flows back into a home's plumbing system from an outside source, such as a sewer line or a neighbor's plumbing. 

Backflow can happen for various reasons, including faulty plumbing and power outages. Backflow usually occurs because of back pressure or greater pressure in the system versus its supply, forcing water back in the opposite direction. Another possible cause is back siphonage, where pressure is decreased in the supply causing the system to have higher pressure.

Backflow is a serious problem that can result in serious health issues and flooding. Among them are pollution of the environment, corrosion of pipes and a home’s plumbing system, compromised quality of drinking water, and diseases carried by a contaminated water supply. These risks are a real threat to human health, so it is important to prevent backflow at all costs. 

What Are Some Options for Preventing Backflow?

backflowPreventing backflow can be done by installing backflow prevention devices that are designed to keep water flowing in one direction. There are two common methods of backflow prevention plumbers may use: the air gap method and the backflow preventer valve method.

The air gap method is a backflow prevention method that involves putting a physical space or a gap between a water outlet and the flood level of a fixture. This gap helps maintain pressure in the system to keep wastewater flowing in one direction. The other method uses a backflow device called a backflow preventer valve. This valve can be installed in the system to keep water moving in one direction to prevent backflow and its effects.

How Often Should Backflow Preventers Be Tested?

backflowWhile backflow prevention methods are essential for homes to help prevent water contamination, backflow testing must be done to ensure these devices are working correctly. Most states require homes to have this backflow test done by licensed plumbers who act as backflow testers at least once yearly. 

Regular backflow testing gives homeowners - and the public - peace of mind that backflow devices are working properly and that their water at home is completely safe for consumption and free from contamination. If homeowners have more questions about backflow prevention and testing, they can reach out for answers.  

About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning

PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning has over 45 years of experience serving Staten Island and the surrounding areas. They offer accurate solutions, options to fit your budget, and fast turnarounds. Call them today for backflow prevention, testing, and certification services in Staten Island, NY.

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The Nitty-Gritty About New Pipe Installation

a new pipe being installed

Recognizing When To Get New Pipe Installation

It's not always easy to tell when a home needs a new pipe installation. Homeowners should consider the age of the pipes, the materials the pipes are made of, the overall condition of the pipes, and whether the pipes have been experiencing problems. Even high-quality pipes made of the strongest materials and installed with careful expertise run into problems eventually. 

Wear and tear, decay, corrosion and rust are inevitable issues that impact a pipe's lifespan. A plumbing professional can assess the pipes' condition and make recommendations as to whether repair or replacement is the appropriate next step.

In this article, experts share some common plumbing knowledge, warning signs of pipe damage, and how to repair these issues. 

Signs a Pipe Needs Replacing

a plumber installing a new pipe

If the home is on the older side, has been experiencing leaks, or suffers from poor water pressure, these are all signs that it may be time to get the piping looked at by a professional. 

However, there are plenty of other issues to look out for as well, including:

  • Leaks
  • Spikes in the water bill
  • Poor water pressure
  • Water stains
  • Rust or corrosion
  • Wet areas or puddles
  • Gurgling sounds
  • Warped flooring
  • Mold
  • Unpleasant odors

A damaged pipe can cause extensive damage to the home, namely, water damage. Homeowners will need to fix the pipe and will need to worry about fixing drywall along with potential mold remediation, which is why catching these issues early on is so essential.

Understanding Pipe Installation Services

plumber with tools

Once it's determined that the pipe needs replacement, homeowners can decide which options make the most sense. This can mean deciding between partial or complete installation, repair versus replacement, and so forth. If a whole home repiping is necessary, it typically takes between three days to a week to complete.

Plumbing professionals will work to accommodate any schedule. That way, the pipe installation process will be as convenient and non-invasive as possible. The plumbing professional will design the best possible piping system for the home, including making recommendations for materials and the overall design of the piping. 

A Guide To Pipe Installation Tools

Typically, supply pipes that bring water into the home are made from brass, copper or galvanized steel. Drain lines, which carry water outside of the home, are usually PVC. Some materials are more expensive than others. However, it is important to consider that different materials have a longer lifespan. 

  • Typically, brass lasts about 40 years
  • Galvanized steel lasts up to 50 years
  • PVC piping has a variable lifespan
  • Cast iron lasts up to 100 years.

A plumbing professional will install plumbing that is leak-free, quiet and efficient. This is a rather involved process, but it can ultimately save tens of thousands of dollars and boost the home's overall value.

plumbing parts

Let a Local Expert Help!

The PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning team has been proudly serving the Staten Island, NY area since 1979. As a Veteran-owned and operated business, they are focused on putting customers first. No job is too big or too small for PAC - contact them today to learn more about their plumbing services.

What You Should Know About Freon


A Guide to Freon and Your Air Conditioner

A working air conditioning unit is crucial during the summer, especially if you’re living somewhere nice and humid. A broken AC can be the difference between tolerable and on the brink of death. A common occurrence that can lead to your AC not working is leaking Freon. In this article, the purpose of Freon, what it is used for, and how you can prevent Freon leakage will be discussed.

The Purpose of Freon

freon tank

Freon is a low toxicity, nonflammable liquid used in air conditioning systems commonly known as refrigerant. While it is commonly used to refer to all refrigerant types, it is a certain brand of refrigerant that is popular among air conditioning unit makers.

It is relatively easy to fix a Freon leak. Kits containing a valve, a hose, and sealant can be found at general supply stores. To fix the leak, you turn off your air conditioning unit and attach the hose to the suction tube. You put the sealant in the hose and then turn the unit back on. The sealant will be sucked into your unit and will go seal the location of any leaks.

Signs You Need HVAC Services

Freon is responsible for making your air conditioning unit work. It acts as a cooling agent, which allows air that comes through the unit to become cooler before leaving the unit to go into a house or commercial building.

When the Freon is not working correctly or is leaking out of the air conditioning unit, the unit isn’t as effective and air doesn’t come out as cool. In extreme cases, the air doesn’t come out cold at all. Also, certain Freon brands are known to be bad for the environment, so liquid that leaks out could be contributing to bad air quality.

Why Is Freon Maintenance Important?



It is very important that regular maintenance is done both on your air conditioning unit as a whole as well as on your refrigerant. Problems in an air conditioning unit that are left alone usually lead to bigger air conditioning malfunctions, which can end up being really expensive. Instead of spending a lot of money on repairs, it is best to just do what maintenance you can.

You should change the air filters in your AC unit on a regular basis, usually every three months. This is because debris builds up on the filters over time and, if not properly dealt with, can put more stress on the machine to produce cold air, eventually leading the machine to break down. You should do a regular check of all of your unit systems to make sure that nothing has started malfunctioning. It is also a good idea to clean the unit once in a while so you can stop the buildup of debris in harder to see places.

For Freon needs, you can have your Freon refilled by a technician every so often so you don’t run out. To prevent any Freon leak problems, it is best to fix any system leak you see as soon as you see it.

Contact an AC Expert Today



PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning has been operating in and around Staten Island since 1979. With over four decades of experience, their technicians are eager to meet any of your plumbing or HVAC needs. Contact them today to find out if your system is in need of freon recharges or repairs.

How to Never Worry About Low Water Pressure Ever Again!

Low Water Pressure? Don’t Worry.

In this article, an overview is given of the common causes of low water pressure and some tips and tricks are given for preventing and fixing low water pressure. Low water pressure can make it harder to do cleaning and other tasks. There are a few reasons why you may be experiencing low water pressure.

They may be a simple fix to regaining water pressure. The tips and tricks in this article can help, but the best way to know for sure that you are getting your maximum amount of water pressure is by consulting with a local specialist for plumbing repair basics.

What Are the Reasons For Low Water Pressure?

low water pressureThere are a few reasons behind low water pressure. One of the main causes of low water pressure is that there is a blockage in the pipes. If the pipes are blocked they can be cleared using chemicals, although a natural solution like vinegar and baking soda is preferable.

Minerals can naturally build up and cause blockages in pipes over time and it is common in older homes as well. Another common reason for low water pressure is leaks. If there is a leak the water could be getting lost elsewhere instead of contributing to the water pressure.

Leaks need to be fixed right away because they can cause significant water damage if left untreated. Finding the leak is the first step to fixing it. If other people are using the water in the house or the neighbors are using their water this can affect your water pressure. Waiting for others to finish using the water can help maximize your water pressure.

Tips for Preventing Low Water Pressure

You can prevent low water pressure from happening to you. Regular maintenance can help to prevent low water pressure as buildup in the pipes and leaky parts are a common cause. Tightening up old loose parts on the faucets can help to improve the water pressure.

For cleaning pipes, there are nontoxic DIY solutions like vinegar you can use to cut down on the mineral buildup within the pipes of the home. Proper cleaning and maintenance is probably the best tip for preventing low water pressure.

preventing low water pressure

Another tip for preventing low water pressure is not to use the water when other people are using it because this can draw water pressure away from you. Check the main shutoff valve for the water to see if it is all the way open. If the water is not turned all the way on it could be reducing the water pressure for your faucets. Opening the valve all the way will fix the low water pressure problem.

Plumbing and HVAC Services for Your Schedule and Budget

PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning are the number one providers of home services that you can depend on for expert plumbers in Staten Island, NY and beyond. They provide installation, repairs, and maintenance for your plumbing and air conditioning systems.