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Spring 2015 Newsletter

How Duct Cleaning Could Benefit You

Your ducts are a very important part of your home’s infrastructure. They serve as the highways through which your warm and cool air flows throughout the year. Centralized forced air systems would be impossible without them, which would make life much more uncomfortable. As vital as they are, however, they are often not given the attention they need when it comes to maintenance. Ducts need professional care just as much as any other home system. They simply need it in a different way. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to proper duct care, read on for information about duct cleaning.

What is Duct Cleaning?

Duct cleaning is a service that focuses on removing dust, debris, and any other contaminants from the ductwork in your home. How this is done depends largely on the type of ducts you have. If they’re the typical sheet metal ducts, a large vacuum is used to suck everything out of the ductwork. For tube or cloth ducts, a special set of cleaning tools is used to manually sweep away the debris. This leaves the ducts clean, clear, and in much better condition overall.

Why Do I Need Duct Cleaning?

There are a number of reasons that duct cleaning can benefit you this spring. First, it can improve your air quality. There are millions of airborne particles floating around in the average home, including germs, dust, pollen, and mold. These particles have a tendency to collect in your home’s ductwork, out of reach of your normal cleaning efforts. Then, when you turn on your heater or air conditioner, all of those particles are blown around the house and lower your air quality. Duct cleaning removes all of those contaminants, allowing you to use your forced air systems without negatively affecting your air.

Duct cleaning can also determine whether or not you need any additional repairs. Ducts can develop leaks quite easily, which can substantially impact the effectiveness of your forced air systems. In fact, the US Department of Energy has estimated that as much as 30% of a forced air system’s output is lost to duct leaks on average. If your HVAC professional finds any leaks during the duct cleaning process, he or she can then seal them for you. This will ensure that your air conditioner is as energy efficient as possible during the summer. 

Why a Ductless Mini–Split is a Great Option for Home Cooling

For those of you looking for a new air conditioning system before summer sets in, a ductless mini–split might be the perfect solution. Centralized air conditioning has been held up as the ultimate in home cooling for a long time, and it certainly does have a lot to recommend it. However, there are a couple of disadvantages to using a centralized system, as well.

You don’t have a choice about which rooms get cool air; either the whole house gets air conditioned, or none of it. That can lead to a lot of wasted energy keeping parts of the house cool that you aren’t even using. Centralized air also can’t compensate for the different warming rates in different parts of the house. If one room of the house warms up much faster than the other rooms, due to insulation flaws or other factors, it is often much harder to keep that room comfortably cool with a central system.

What’s Advantageous about Ductless Systems?

Ductless systems, on the other hand, offer a whole new range of advantages to homeowners that centralized air systems cannot match. A ductless mini–split is a heat pump that is installed on the wall or ceiling of the room it is going to serve. A separate unit is installed outside the house, then connected to the inside unit by power and refrigerant lines. Up to four inside units can be connected to a single outside unit.

No Ducts, No Duct Leaks

Let’s take a look at the benefits of this kind of system. For one, the ductless unit eschews all ductwork in favor of delivering cool air directly to the room it serves. By doing this, it bypasses one of the biggest flaws in duct systems: leaks. As much as 30% of a central system’s output on average is lost to leaks in the ductwork. This makes a ductless mini–split much more energy efficient than a central air system.

Multiple Units = Greater Control

By using multiple ductless mini–splits instead of a centralized system, you also garner the advantage of finer control. Each ductless unit is outfitted with its own thermostat, allowing each room to have a different set of parameters for maintaining a comfortable climate. No more wasting energy with a one–size–fits–all solution.

Cooling as well as Heating

Finally, each ductless mini–split can also act as a heating system. This is done by reversing the flow of refrigerant in the system, making a ductless mini–split an energy efficient heater as well as an air conditioner. This could save you hundreds of dollars that would otherwise be spent on a completely separate heater.