Heating and Air Conditioning Tips
Duct Cleaning and Air Quality in the Home
When it comes to getting the best performance and the most energy efficiency possible out of your heating and cooling system, regular maintenance is the most inexpensive solution. Regular servicing by your HVAC contractor and changing the furnace and ac filter are the two most effective means of saving money and extending the service life of your HVAC system. Having your system inspected annually can also save lives. Faulty heating systems can cause toxic carbon monoxide to accumulate in the home and can result in death.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a product of combustion, produced when fossil fuels are burned, from cigarette smoke, and from human respiration. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and highly toxic.In a properly maintained heating system carbon monoxide will be vented outdoors through a chimney or exhaust pipe, and does not pose a risk to home occupants. In a poorly installed and maintained heating system it can be deadly.
A potential red flag of heating trouble may be the sudden excessive levels of moisture in the home, as water vapor is also produced by the combustion of fossil fuels. Other factors can cause this, but if your home uses fossil fuel and excessive moisture is present, servicing can not only increase your heating systems efficiency but potentially save lives. All homes using fossil fuels for heating should have carbon monoxide detectors installed in order to protect family members from deadly carbon monoxide.
When homeowners look for ways to save on energy costs, one factor often overlooked is the duct system. According to the U. S. Department of energy an estimated 66 percent of U. S. homes have leaky ducts used in heating and air conditioning systems. When ducts are located in attic and crawlspaces leaky ducts can account for 20 percent or more of energy losses in a home’s heating and air conditioning system according to the Department of Energy.
If the duct system in your home is visible in a crawlspace, attic, or basement you can check the ducts with a simple inspection. Inspect duct joints and ensure they are properly sealed with foil backed tape. If you find your duct joints are sealed with fabric backed duct tape replace it with foil backed duct tape. Fabric backed duct tape deteriorates over time and will eventually turn loose. Humidity, moisture and heat promotes a rapid deterioration of fabric backed duct tape, whereas foil backed duct tape when applied securely will stand the test of time to these factors.
Check for loose duct joints, as these will reduce air flow to registers and rooms increasing energy costs and reducing comfort. A room that is overly hot in the summer, or cold in the winter lacking a cause (large, un-insulated south or north facing windows for example), may be a sign of a loose or disconnected joint of duct.
Remove registers (grilles) and inspect where the duct pipe meets the wall or floor. If duct tape is not securely attached replace it with foil backed duct tape applied firmly. Ensure that you are applying it to a clean dirt and dust free surface for the best adhesion.
Other factors that can cause ducts to perform poorly are unsealed access holes. Holes are generally cut into ducts to provide access for cleaning and must be sealed afterward. This is one example as to why it is important to always use a certified HVAC contractor that uses ANSI/ACCA standards. A simple one inch hole can cause inadequate airflow to reach a room. A certified HVAC contractor will always seal the holes created for a thorough duct cleaning.
Government agencies are lately claiming dirty ducts do not affect air quality, but anyone who suffers from allergies to dust, or has breathing problems will say differently. Ducts located in floors are especially vulnerable to pet hair, dirt, dust and grime accumulation. Just as the floor gets dirty, some of that dirt will end up in duct systems that are located in the floor, and the systems air flow will be unable to effectively discharge all of it out of vents. Filters protect your HVAC system from the damaging effects of dusty air. If you tend to forget to change the filter as recommended your HVAC systems service life will be shortened and efficiency reduced. Never run your system without a filter, if you tend to do so your ducts will likely be in need of a professional cleaning as well as coils and other components of the system.
Remodeling without turning off the HVAC system and covering vents and air return registers will result in potentially damaging debris in the system as well as in the ducts. If your home has undergone dusty remodeling or if it has been 10 years or more since your ducts were cleaned it may be a good idea to have them inspected and cleaned if necessary. A professional cleaning involves using a small camera to inspect the duct system for dirt and debris. The image is displayed upon a monitor and in most cases can be recorded for the homeowner to see the results.
A good sign that your duct system may be in need of cleaning is an increase of dust deposits in the home.
Finally, when you schedule a professional duct cleaning secure a contractor who follows the procedures as outlined in ANSI/ACCA Standards for HVAC cleanliness. Do not allow ‘friends’ not in the industry to provide this service for you. Ducts can be damaged in the process, and especially by persons not trained in the field.
Naturally you want your home to be a healthy place for your family. At Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning, we can help your family to breathe easier. We specialize in indoor air quality services such as duct cleaning as well as others.
Our experienced and certified specialists will provide a thorough inspection of your home’s air intake sources and ventilation. We offer professional air filtration system upgrades to your home to eliminate dust and other pollutants from the home environment.
Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning provides on-time service and reliable technicians for all of your heating and air conditioning service, repair and installation needs. We service residential as well as commercial clients in Katy and the surrounding areas. Whether you require heating or ac repair, are upgrading your existing system or need a completely new heating or air conditioning installation, our certified professionals expertly handle the job from start to finish. Your satisfaction and comfort is always our goal.
Give the professionals at Cypress a call today for all of your heating and air conditioning needs, we will be happy to help you.