6 Main Factors to Have Your Ducts Clean

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Every home and business is different. Many factors influence the hygiene levels of your HVAC duct system including the type and frequency and proper maintenance of filter maintenance, A/C component maintenance frequency (evaporator coils, blower motors, pan treatments, etc), duct leakage, humidity levels and structure location, to name a few.

How often should they be cleaned?

The frequency of cleaning depends on many factors within the building. These 6 main factors are among a few to consider:

 
1- Renovations/Remodeling
2- Flood or water contamination
3- Allergies
4- Pets
5- Smoking
6- Moving into a new home

For best preventive measures, minimally, your A/C system should be inspected yearly and ductwork inspected every 2 years.

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8 Reasons To Schedule A Preventative Maintenance

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Once your A/C system has been properly cleaned and remediated, simple ongoing schedule maintenance inspections should be performed to ensure your continued clean and healthy air.

A clean and properly maintained system will help:

  1. Reduce musty odors associated with moldy systems
  2. Provide clean and healthy air flow
  3. Reduce the likelihood of equipment breakdowns
  4. Reduce AC electrical energy usage
  5. Increase or restore your A/C system capacity
  6. Reduced likelihood of condensate water flooding
  7. Extend your A/C equipment life
  8. Reduce the frequency of future duct cleaning

A dirty evaporator coil will reduce cooling capacity and degrade equipment, reducing energy efficiency. A clogged evaporator coil reduces air flow through the coil, causing the compressor motor to consume more energy.

Exposed to unfiltered outdoor air, condenser coils easily trap dust and debris, raising the condensing temperature and reducing the cooling capacity. According FEMP, a Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) study showed that a dirty condenser coil can increase compressor energy consumption by 30%.

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Improve your Indoor Air Quality Today!

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As the weather continues to cool down and allergy season hits its peak, homeowners may find themselves spending more time indoors. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), this gives an added importance to making sure that HVAC systems are properly cleaned and ready for the change in season.

NADCA, the HVAC Inspection Maintenance and Restoration Association suggests homeowners and building managers pay close attention to their air handling units and take the necessary steps to determine if a proper cleaning is in order.

“A dirty or contaminated air conveyance system will restrict air flow at the coil and blower, and also within the duct system,” said Bill Benito, ASCS, CVI, president of NADCA. “Your HVAC system should be inspected yearly and a complete system cleaning should be performed every 4-5 years.”

The frequency of cleaning may vary depending on certain factors; NADCA urges homeowners to consider the following:

  • Are there pets living in the home? Pet dander and hair can add to the amount of dust and dirt that accumulates in an HVAC system, restricting air flow.
  • Do any of the occupants of the home suffer from asthma or allergies? A proper cleaning of the air handling unit can improve indoor air quality and efficiency of the unit.
  • Is smoking permitted inside the home? If so, full-system cleanings may be required more frequently.

“When looking to hire a company or a contractor, it’s important to pick a reputable business whose technicians have gone through the NADCA certification process,” added Benito.

Learn how to extend life of your air handler unit.

As your a/c equipment ages, it can become less efficient, detrimental to your indoor air quality and parts will wear to the point that you may be thinking of replacement.  As a tune-up will restore most of your cars’ performance, precision tune ups and remediation to the air handler components can restore lost performance, efficiency and improve IAQ. It’s important to consider an AC Scheduled Preventative Maintenance Plan.

Evaporator / Cooling Coils:
ADAflorida.comThe efficiency of the cooling coils can be directly attributed to the level of cleanliness and can be directly measured by the pressure drop over the coils.  NADCA, The National Air Duct Cleaners Association, recommends  yearly inspections of the air handling unit and “cleaning is highly recommended for heat exchange coils, cooling coils, air flow control devices, filtration devices and air handling equipment determined to have restrictions, blockages, or contamination deposits that may cause system performance inefficiencies, air flow degradation or that may significantly affect the design intent of the HVAC system” (ACR 2006, NADCA)


Condensate Pan / Drain:
ADAflorida.comMicrobial-like growth, dirt and debris can clog condensate pans if not properly maintained, causing overflow within the air handler.  This condition could cause microbial growth to occur within the air handler and ductwork.  The pitch of the drainage pan is also important in assisting the proper flow to the building exterior.

Blower Wheels:
ADAFlorida.comBlower wheels and fins can become heavily soiled and less efficient if not regularly maintained and cleaned.  A dirty condition can also result in poor air flow.  Care must be taken not to unbalance the blades when cleaning but efficiency can be substantially increased.

Insulation Liner:
ADAFlorida.comThe liner on the internal surfaces of the air handler unit provides insulation and sound dampening.  However, in this microbially vulnerable area of the HVAC system, the liner can fail much quicker than the other components.   If degraded and flaking, particles can enter the air stream and cross-contaminate into the occupied spaces.  Closed cell insulation can be installed to extend the equipment life and provide a non-porous insulation liner within the air handler.

Air Duct Aseptics provides fully certified HVAC systems cleaning and remediation services throughout Florida.  Servicing our clients since 1990, you can count on Air Duct Aseptics for professionalism and superior service.  Call toll free 888-707-7763.

Air Duct Aseptics (www.ADAflorida.com)

DID YOU KNOW THAT AIR DUCT CLEANING SAVES ABOUT 11% IN AIR CONDITIONING ENERGY USAGE?

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It takes a lot of energy to heat and cool a home or building an in fact, the systems used for this purpose account for the majority of energy use. These systems – even in new buildings – tend to be dirty, and become heavily fouled through everyday use. Fouled heating and cooling systems can also be problematic for occupants, contributing to poor indoor air quality, system failure and increased energy usage.

Researchers have proven that properly cleaning even lightly-soiled heating and cooling systems through air duct cleaning services can result in energy savings of up to 11 percent. In addition to these savings, consumers who have their heating and cooling system cleaned can benefit from improved indoor air quality, air flow, reduced maintenance costs and extended life expectancy for the heating and cooling system.

While not confirmed, cleaning heavily fouled systems is expected to produce even greater energy savings.

You can read more of this Status Report from the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) regarding their Energy Research Project at www.nadca.com

Air Duct Aseptics (ADA) is a NADCA certified HVAC Duct Cleaning company. Call today for your free evaluation at 888-707-7763 or visit us www.ADAflorida.com.

How to prevent mold using a humidistat

Asked on: September 1, 2011 by Roger H. – Fort Myers

What is your opinion on using a humidistat as a means of controlling mold?

That’s a great question, Roger, and one that many customers raised in response to my recent post on how to save energy and prevent mold when away from home.  No one wants mold inside their home, so finding ways to prevent it in Florida’s muggy climate is of interest to many of our customers.

Why it happens
Mold can begin to take root inside your home when the relative humidity (RH) exceeds about 68 percent. A humidistat, which directly controls indoor relative humidity, is one way to prevent mold. Dehumidifiers and some central air conditioners have a built-in humidistat that tells the system to dehumidify the air to a desired point.

Setting your humidistat or dehumidifier
Set the controls of your humidistats and dehumidifiers to 58 percent RH to maintain acceptable humidity, since some humidistat sensors are inaccurate by as many as 10 percentage points.

Better ways to control mold
If you don’t have a humidistat, another way to control mold when you’re away is by programming the A/C to run at 72 degrees for just two hours before sunrise and at 88 degrees the rest of the day.

But what if you don’t have a programmable thermostat? In that case, set the A/C at 77 degrees for condos or apartments and 80 degrees for single family homes and townhouses. (Remember to have the fan switch set to auto.)  Thermostats in condos and apartments should be set at 77 degrees to make the air conditioner run enough to provide significant dehumidification.

If you live in Florida seasonally or leave for extended periods of time, the most economical way to prevent mold in a vacant home is by using stand-alone dehumidifiers instead of A/C. Use one for every 1,000 square feet.

We also recommend repairing any leaks around doors, windows and in your A/C ductwork, which will help minimize the amount of moisture getting into your home.

Visit us online at http://www.iaq-usa.com (Air Duct Aseptics)

(see the original blog at http://www.fplblog.com/?p=734)