Breathing Easy: Why HVAC Systems Are Crucial for Indoor Air Quality and Health

hvacHeating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems manipulate environmental temperature to improve indoor comfort and air quality. They involve products like furnaces, air conditioners, and ductwork. Contact Hubbard Mechanical now.

An HVAC system uses blower equipment to circulate cooled or warmed air throughout the home or office. It also filters and monitors humidity to prevent odors and bacterial growth.

Heat pumps are smarter, cleaner alternatives to traditional gas or electric furnaces. They heat, cool, dehumidify and filter air in your home. They can use your existing ducts or be installed as a ductless system for homes without ductwork. They are energy-efficient enough to earn the ENERGY STAR label, and can save you two to five times as much on your electricity bill as a typical electric heater.

They operate by circulating refrigerant to absorb and deliver the temperature you want in your house, using cycles of condensing and evaporating to transfer thermal energy. The process is very similar to that of a refrigerator, with the volatile fluid (typically called R-410A) passing through one or more heat exchangers. This process is controlled by a thermostat and a pump.

The evaporator, which is located in the indoor unit, usually consists of a coil or tubes. A fan blows air over the coil, which cools it and causes the refrigerant to evaporate within the tube or tubes. The refrigerant then returns to its saturated vapor state, and the cycle starts over again.

If your heat pump isn’t heating or cooling your home properly, there are a number of reasons it could be failing. Dirty air filters, closed registers or a clogged drain can cause issues, and only an HVAC professional can fix them. A clicking sound during operation can also indicate a problem with the compressor, and again, only an HVAC pro can replace it.

Heat pumps work in most US climates, even very cold ones, by exploiting the laws of thermodynamics. They move heat rather than generating it, and per unit of electricity are twice as efficient at delivering heat as conventional electric resistance heaters.

When your heat pump is in heating mode, the reversing valve opens and the volatile liquid inside the outdoor unit passes through a one-way valve to what’s known as an expansion valve. This lets the liquid vaporize, and as it does so, it picks up heat from the air outside your house. This heat is transferred into the evaporator coil, where it’s used to warm your home.

A furnace is a large heating appliance that warms air, water, or steam before distributing it throughout your home. It runs on liquid fuel, typically oil, although some use gas or even hydrogen. Furnaces can also run on electricity, although this requires special precautions to prevent fire and carbon monoxide issues.

A forced air furnace uses ductwork to distribute warm air to rooms in your house, which can be a benefit for those who have allergies or asthma, as well as those who want to lower energy usage and utility bills. However, it’s important to keep your ductwork clean, as dirt and debris can reduce your system’s efficiency.

When the thermostat detects that your home needs heat (the indoor temperature dips below a set point), it signals the furnace by turning on the ignition switch. This initiates the combustion process, which burns a combination of natural gas and air in the burner chamber. The hot flame then heats the metal tubing inside of the heat exchanger. The air in the supply and return ducts warms as it moves through the heat exchanger, and the blower fan directs the warmed air into various spaces in your home via ductwork.

The resulting exhaust gas from the combustion process is vented outside through a flue pipe. Your hvac technician can replace your furnace with a high-efficiency unit that produces fewer emissions and wastes less energy.

Other features in modern furnaces include a draft hood and blower motor to ensure steady air flow, an air filter to minimize allergens and odors, a heat sensor for early warning of potential problems, as well as safety features such as a rollout switch and a flame detector.

Furnaces should be kept away from flammable items, such as clothing and curtains, and the flame should always be blue. Any other color indicates a problem with the fuel or burner and should be addressed by a professional right away. You should also check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly and make sure you’re using a programmable thermostat to help lower your utility bills.

Air handlers are often paired with heat pumps or air conditioner condensers to form a complete HVAC system. They are like the “lungs” of your home, managing the flow of conditioned air and keeping you comfortable year-round. They work by sucking in ambient air, filtering it and passing it over an evaporator coil that absorbs or releases heat, depending on the season. This conditioned air is then circulated throughout your home via the ductwork, and dampers within the air handler control where airflow can be diverted to specific areas of your house.

There are different types of air handlers available to fit different needs, including single-stage, multi-stage and variable speed options. The type of air handler you choose should match the rating of your equipment so that both systems operate at the same capacity to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.

An air handler contains the indoor components of your HVAC system, and it can also be fitted with additional devices to improve ventilation and indoor air quality, such as electronic air filters, dehumidifiers or UV lights. They are powered by electricity, natural gas or a combination of both and may include an insulated cabinet, blower fan, drain pan, refrigerant coils and air filtration device.

The air handler’s main purpose is to regulate the temperature of the conditioned air it circulates throughout your home by mixing colder outside air with warmer inside air, and by adjusting the ratio between supply and return air. To do this, it must have a mixing chamber, dampers and a set of thermostats to monitor the desired temperature, humidity levels and airflow.

The air handler is the heart of your heating and cooling system, and the health of this essential component will impact the overall performance of your entire HVAC system. To keep your air handler working efficiently, you should maintain a clean environment and have it inspected annually by an HVAC professional to make sure all the internal parts are in good condition. Regular filter changes and a routine maintenance schedule will also help ensure your system performs at peak performance and reduce energy costs.

Ductwork is a network of pipes that transports warm or cooled air from your HVAC unit to the rooms and spaces of your home. Often, it’s hidden behind walls and ceilings. Fortunately, the proper installation and maintenance of ductwork helps to ensure that your heating or cooling system operates as efficiently as possible.

If your ductwork is in need of repair, you may notice one of two common symptoms: rattling sounds or whistling noises. These sounds are a result of air seeping out through loose or disconnected sections of your duct system. These problems can be very annoying, and they’re also a sign that your HVAC system is struggling to keep up with the amount of air it needs to properly heat or cool your home.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to your ductwork is that the proper size and routing of ducts are crucial for ensuring your home gets heated or cooled adequately. An HVAC professional will map out your ductwork design before installing it, and this helps to ensure that your entire home is matched up with the right sized ducts.

A ducted system typically has a plenum or main trunk line, and then individual ducts branch out from the plenum to the different rooms of your home. The ducts can be made out of sheet metal or flexible aluminum, and they’re usually insulated to keep the air in them from being lost to the outside.

There are a few different types of ducts, and each type has its own benefits and drawbacks. Sheet metal ducts are the most durable, and they’re usually constructed out of galvanized steel with a zinc coating that’s almost rustproof. They’re a great choice for areas of the house that are hard to reach, and they’re also quite cost effective.

The other common type of duct is the flexible aluminum duct. This is a lot lighter than the metal duct, and it’s very easy to install. However, it isn’t as durable and may be susceptible to mold contamination. It’s still a good choice for tight spaces where rigid metal ducts would be impossible to fit.





air conditioning maintenance

The Importance Of Air Conditioning Maintenance

Most manufacturers require annual maintenance to maintain warranty coverage on the parts that make your air conditioning system work. This can save you thousands of dollars in repair bills down the road if something goes wrong.

Experts of All Temp Air Conditioning & Refrigeration will check the air filter, and clean various components like the condenser, evaporator coil, and drain line. They will also rake leaves and prune bushes away from the unit, allowing for two feet of clearance.

air conditioning maintenanceCheck the Air Filter

Air filters are a crucial part of any home’s HVAC system, serving as a safety net to catch dust, debris, and other contaminants. They’re also one of the most important components when it comes to AC maintenance, as they can affect indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and the longevity of your system.

When an air filter gets dirty, it can restrict airflow, which can cause several problems. It can lead to indoor air quality issues, such as poor circulation and stuffy rooms, and it may strain your system to the point that it needs repair or replacement sooner than it should.

The air filter should be replaced or cleaned at least once per month, ideally twice during periods of high usage. The first step in replacing a filter is to locate it. This can vary based on the type of system you have. For example, it might be located in the return air duct or an air handler cabinet. It’s usually a good idea to save the old filter’s packaging, as it will let you know exactly what kind of filter you have and whether or not it can be cleaned.

Before removing the filter, make sure that all power to the system is turned off. This will ensure that you don’t touch live wires or accidentally get sucked into the unit. It’s also a good idea to have a large garbage bag nearby to place the dirty filter in immediately after removal. This prevents all that trapped dirt from reentering your home while the new filter is in place.

Once the filter is removed, it’s time to clean or replace it. Before cleaning, make sure that you have the right size filter in hand — this will help avoid making things worse by putting too much stress on your system. It’s also a good idea for homeowners to have washable-type filters on hand so that they can clean them regularly and extend the life of their equipment. If you don’t have washable filters, your local hardware store should have a wide selection to choose from.

Clean The Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is the part of your air conditioning that absorbs and releases the refrigerant into your home. This part is very important for the efficiency of your system, and keeping it clean will help save you money in energy costs. The evaporator coil can become dirty very quickly, so it is crucial to keep up with cleaning it regularly.

Before cleaning the coils, make sure to turn off your air conditioner and let it cool down. You will also want to remove any access panels or covers and inspect the evaporator coil for dirt, mold growth, or any other signs of damage.

You can use a can of compressed air to blow off the coils, but be careful not to damage the aluminum fins. If there is a large buildup of dirt, you may need to use a brush or commercial coil cleaner to remove it.

If you choose to use a brush, be gentle. The fins are very delicate, and a hard brush could scratch them. For more stubborn buildup, you can use a special fin brush or spray a commercial coil cleaner on the coils. Just follow the directions on the label. Once you have removed the loose dirt, use clean water to rinse the coils. You can also pour a capful of bleach down the drain line to keep it free of debris and mold.

A dirty evaporator coil can lead to many different problems. It can reduce cooling capacity and efficiency, and it can also affect humidity control. It will also force the other parts of your air conditioning to work harder, which can lead to system failures and increased operating pressures. In addition, a dirty evaporator coil can create an environment for bacteria to grow and cause mold and mildew inside your home. Keeping up with coil cleaning and changing the air filter will prevent these issues. A professional air conditioning service can do these things for you as a part of a normal maintenance visit. They can also recommend other things you should do to keep your system running at peak performance.

Clean The Drain Line

Keeping the air conditioning drain line clear of gunk is an important part of any AC maintenance routine. If the drain line becomes clogged, it will cause water to back up into your condensate pan and could lead to serious problems with your entire system. Clogged drain lines can also create a damp smell in your home, which can be quite unpleasant.

You can avoid these problems by adding drain line cleaning to your yearly air conditioning maintenance schedule. In most cases, this is a simple DIY task that you can do with a few common household products. First, you’ll want to make sure that your AC system is turned off and in the “off” position. Next, locate the drain line and identify its access point. It’s usually a T-shaped vent tee with a cap, and you can remove this to gain access to the line’s opening.

Once you’ve removed the cap, look for any visible signs of a blockage. The most obvious sign is standing water. This may be due to a small volume of normal condensation or it might indicate a clogged drain line that’s not allowing any moisture to escape.

If you see any signs of a clog, you can use a wet vac to suck up the buildup and flush out the line. However, this method won’t work for deeper or more stubborn clogs, so if you encounter these, consider calling in a professional to address the problem.

A more effective way to clean your AC drain line is by using vinegar. This will kill any bacteria and fungus growing in the line and prevent further clogs. You can use a mixture of distilled vinegar and bleach or hydrogen peroxide to do this. Pour about a cup of this solution down the drain line and let it sit for a few hours before you flush it with water.

This is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to prevent serious AC issues down the road. Taking this task seriously will keep your air conditioner working well and help you avoid expensive repairs.

Inspect The Ductwork

The ductwork is a maze inside the walls and ceilings of your home that delivers heated or cooled air to each room. Leaks in the ductwork allow conditioned air to escape into unheated or uncooled areas of your home and waste energy. A professional duct inspection is an important part of air conditioning maintenance. The service can help you reduce your utility bills and improve the quality of your home’s indoor air.

A professional duct inspection will involve an assessment of the entire duct system. The inspector will evaluate the condition of the insulation, look for moisture or signs of biological growth, and check all of the joints. In addition, the contractor will look for gaps and holes that let conditioned air escape. Leaks are especially common around the seams where two pieces of ductwork meet and around vent registers. These leaks are particularly noticeable when the air is blowing at full strength because they make more noise than other parts of the duct system.

If you want to do a visual inspection, you can turn up the air conditioner blower to its highest setting and open the vents in each room. Then, move a flashlight along the ductwork. You should be able to see any obvious holes, gaps, or tears. It’s helpful to have someone else help you check the attic or basement, where much of the ductwork is located. Having another person help you will also make it easier to find leaks in corners and other hard-to-reach places.

After locating a leak, you can use aluminum foil tape or mastic sealant to seal the area. Clean the area before applying the tape or sealant, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. It’s a good idea to apply more than one layer of the sealant and to apply it over the entire surface of the hole or crack.

If you’re having trouble finding leaking areas of the ductwork, consider hiring an HVAC professional to run a pressurized test on your ducts. The technician will use specialized equipment to run a pressure test that will reveal any leaks. The technician can then recommend a duct sealing service to fix those problem areas.