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Spring 2013

Have you cleaned your ducts lately?

Because the ductwork inside your home distributes the cool air throughout your various living spaces, your central air conditioning system depends on the ductwork in your home. The air ducts help deliver air from supply and return vents, and they also affect indoor air quality if they are dirty. Cleaning your ducts should be part of every homeowner’s checklist, especially as the cooling season begins. If you notice that the filtered air of your home is no longer as fresh as it once was, or if you smell or see mold or vermin, please schedule a comprehensive duct cleaning today. The air you breathe in your home every day can be affected by the cleanliness of your ductwork.

Ducts are traditionally made out of sheet metal, which is installed and then later insulated, although there are also sheet metal panels that are self–insulating, with phenolic or foam panels inside the metal wraps. More recently, there have been advances in fabric and flexible ducts, but it really depends upon the specific application and your budget.

The following checklist may help you understanding more about the benefits to having your ductwork inspected and cleaned by a professional. If you have any of the following conditions in your home duct system, you should probably call in a pro:

  • Water damage. If you notice rust in parts of your ductwork or water staining around adjacent areas, then this may be a concern. You may have a humidity problem, resulting in excessive condensation and inadequate drainage.
  • Slime or microbial growth. Do you smell or see mold? This one should be obvious. Call a duct cleaner!
  • Debris build–up that restricts air flow. Excessive dust, dander or other debris can eventually begin to hamper your airflow, and can ultimately prevent your system from operating efficiently and effectively.
  • Dust discharged from diffusers. If you see or smell dust when your air conditioner kicks on, it’s likely that you have excessive dust in your ductwork.
  • Bad odor. If the air emerging from your ducts or in and around parts of your central air smells rank, this could indicate a problem with vermin infestation.

As with most problems in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning, prevention is the key. Routine maintenance programs are an excellent way to stay on top of duct contamination problems before they start.  

 

Tune–up Your AC Unit and Get Ready for the Heat

When your air conditioner is fully operational, it can keep you comfortable during the hottest days of the year. It’s imperative, therefore, that you maintain your AC unit throughout its lifetime. Spring is a great time to think about how you might tune–up your AC.

To tune–up your AC means inspecting, cleaning, repairing, and, if necessary, replacing parts of your system. To be done properly, much of this work requires the expertise of an air conditioning professional. A properly installed and serviced AC unit will maximize your energy–efficiency, and will help to save you money.

The first step is to call a professional. An expert technician will be able to assess any issues in the compressor, coils, refrigerant levels, electrical supply and thermostat. Attempting to do so yourself may be dangerous and could prove costly. Here a few maintenance tune–ups even the most efficient air conditioners could benefit from:

  • Clean or replace the air filter. Your air filter is one of the most important parts of your AC unit. It promotes airflow and prevents the passage of dust and other allergens from entering your ductwork or home. If you are highly–sensitive to allergens, particularly those that come about in the spring time, then this is an absolute must. Air filters also keep the parts of your AC unit working properly by preventing the accumulation of dust and other materials on the internal structure. Check your air filter monthly.
  • Insulate the ductwork. Your ducts are the structural skeleton of your indoor air system. They make the measured and even distribution of cool air possible, but they depend upon a closed system. As well as repairing or sealing any duct leaks and testing that the system is efficient, insulating ductwork tends to significantly reduce heating and cooling loss, sometimes up to 30%. By sealing air leaks, your cooling professional may be able to save you serious money this spring and summer.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to customize your home temperature for specific times of the day and days of the week. Not only will adjusting your temperature automatically cut costs, but it is also takes care of your home comfort for you.

Remember that only a professional AC technician can tune–up your system for this upcoming cooling season. Call one today.