Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing Blog: Archive for the ‘Air Duct Cleaning’ Category

6 Tips to Keep Your Wallet Happy This Winter

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Don’t let your winter heating costs get you down


Sure, in the short walk from your heated car to your heated office the cold winter air may be refreshing, but I’m sure there are few among us who don’t appreciate the comfort of a well-heated house at the end of the day. I’ll also bet there are few among us whose energy bills don’t see some kind of spike in these winter months either. That part’s not so comforting.

But before you scramble to take up residence someplace more tropical, we’ve put together 6 tips to help keep your house warm and wallet happy this winter.

1. Go smart (with a smart/programmable thermostat)

Automatically control the temperature of your house when you’re working, sleeping, or otherwise occupied with a programmable thermostat, and you can save from 5 to 20% on your heating bill. No need to worry about remembering to turn your heat down when you leave the house–programmable thermostats take the hassle out of heating.

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10 Ways to Ensure Good Home Air Quality

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
From the healthy home air experts at ASHRAE.org
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Aeroseal Featured on PBS’s Hometime with Dean Johnson

Monday, January 18th, 2016

This last weekend, Aeroseal duct sealing was featured on national television (again).

Check out this clip from Hometime for a great explanation of how the procedure works and how you could see improvements to indoor air quality, dust, consistent comfort and heating expenses.

I encourage everyone to ask your local heating and cooling contractor if they can provide this service. If they can’t, then make sure to find out who can!

Don’t let anyone tell you that hand sealing the duct system is “just as good” as sealing them from the inside.

If you are in BARRON HEATING’s service area, check out this page for more great information and how you can take advantage of this innovative opportunity: http://www.barronheating.com/aeroseal/

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What is in your home dust?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Have you ever noticed all of the “icky” debris from your vacuum when you empty the canister or change the bag?


Have you ever broken your vacuum cleaner bag as you were disposing it or looked at canister of debris before dumping it? This should provide an accurate picture of what type of air the typical homeowner is breathing in their homes.

Every home’s duct work leaks! Every time your furnace runs more things are sucked into your duct work. Things like dust, pet hair, cooking grease, cigarette smoke, and other debris that will stay in your duct work – until they eventually break down and are released back into the air stream for you and your family to breathe.

“Most homeowners simply have no idea of how much dust, dirt, and debris the duct system harbors, according to Brendan Reid, Founder of Comfort Institute and Senior Success Coach . Since the air ducts are out of sight they are often out of mind”. As a reminder, about 50 percent of household dust is from dead skins cells which we constantly are shedding.

Sealing your ductwork not only improves indoor air quality by reducing dust and allergens, but can make you more comfortable in your home by reducing hot and cold spots, rooms, and floors in your house. We suggest using the Aeroseal process, but other forms of duct sealing can be effective.

A few recommendations for breathing healthier air in your home are sealing your duct work before you purchase a new heating and cooling system, clean your duct work every 3-5 years, and have a good air filter that you change according to manufacturer’s recommendations. This combination will help reduce household dust and keep the system running efficiently.



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Got Dust? You can do something about it.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Don’t let the dust bunny be an issue during the holidays.

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s time to start preparing the house for guests. Finding dust in your home is no fun, and no matter how much you clean it always seems to come back.

Dust is made up of all kinds of particles including plant pollen, dead skin cells, pet dander, insulation and fibers from clothing and paper. When it accumulates, it’s annoying and can wreak havoc on asthma and allergy sufferers. To make matters worse, with dust come dust mites. Grossed out yet?

While it’s impossible to completely rid your home of dust, here are some easy tips for keeping it at bay.

Clean Smart.

Using feather dusters will push the dust around and cause it to settle somewhere else. Use a damp cloth or microfiber or electrostatic cloth to capture dust. Always start cleaning a room from the top and work your way down. Change your bedding once a week and de-clutter. Don’t forget to shake out dirt and dust from your area rugs and pillows. Sweep and vacuum a few times a week to keep dust build up minimal.

Use Doormats.

Dirt and dust can be carried through the front, back or garage doors on the soles of your shoes or feet. Using heavy duty doormats will help cut down on the dirt and dust tracked into your home.

Change Your Filter.

A dirty filter will not only reduce the quality of the air in your home, they also lose their ability to to trap dust. Clean them regularly to maintain a healthy airflow. We recommend changing your filter once a month.

Set an Appointment with Your HVAC Contractor.

It’s important to have humidity levels between 40% – 50% to reduce static. Static attracts dust and makes in harder to remove. A Comfort Adviser will check the humidity levels in your home to ensure a healthy, comfortable and static free environment. It’s also very important to have your ducts tested and inspected for leaks. A Comfort Adviser will be able to identify sources like duct leaks which allows dirt, insulation particles and dust to circulate in your duct system and make way into your home. The decision to have your ducts sealed or cleaned may be the solution to minimizing dust in your home.

It’s important to remember that no matter what you do, you will still end up having some dust in your home. It is our goal to help you minimize the dust in your home. Have a trained Comfort Adviser do a thorough inspection of your ducts and living environment.

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Dateline Report- Duct Cleaning Scams Revealed!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Our team at MHPE encourages all folks interested in duct cleaning to watch these videos before hiring a contractor.
These scammers are the worst kind of morons you could meet. Similar schemes have been found nationwide being used by dozens of seemingly reputable businesses.

Chris Hanson Files – Air Duct Cleaning Scams Part 1

Chris Hanson Files – Air Duct Cleaning Scams Part 2

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Air Ducts: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014


Your air ducts are one of the most important systems in your home, and if the ducts are poorly sealed or insulated they are likely contributing to higher energy bills.
Your home’s duct system is a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors, and ceilings; it carries the air from your home’s furnace and central air conditioner to each room. Ducts are made of sheet metal, fiberglass, or other materials.

Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills. Insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost-effective. If you are installing a new duct system, make sure it comes with insulation.

Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or vented crawlspace. If the supply ducts are leaking, heated or cooled air can be forced out of unsealed joints and lost. In addition, unconditioned air can be drawn into return ducts through unsealed joints.

Although minor duct repairs are easy to make, qualified professionals should seal and insulate ducts in unconditioned spaces to ensure the use of appropriate sealing materials.

MINOR DUCT REPAIR TIPS
  • Check your ducts for air leaks. First, look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes.
  • Duct mastic is the preferred material for sealing ductwork seams and joints. It is more durable than any available tape and generally easier for a do-it-yourself installation. Its only drawback is that it will not bridge gaps over ¼ inch. Such gaps must be first bridged with web-type drywall tape or a good quality heat approved tape.
  • If you use tape to seal your ducts, avoid cloth-backed, rubber adhesive duct tape — it tends to fail quickly. Instead, use mastic, butyl tape, foil tape, or other heat-approved tapes. Look for tape with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo.
  • Remember that insulating ducts in the basement will make the basement colder. If both the ducts and the basement walls are not insulated, consider insulating both. Water pipes and drains in unconditioned spaces could freeze and burst if the heat ducts are fully insulated be-cause there would be no heat source to prevent the space from freezing in cold weather. However, using an electric heating tape wrap on the pipes can prevent this. Check with a professional contractor.
  • Hire a professional to install both supply and return registers in the basement rooms after converting your basement to a living area.
  • Be sure a well-sealed vapor barrier exists on the outside of the insulation on cooling ducts to prevent moisture condensation.
  • If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or other appliance or an attached garage, install a carbon monoxide (CO) monitor to alert you to harmful CO levels.
  • Be sure to get professional help when doing ductwork. A qualified professional should always perform changes and repairs to a duct system.
INSTALL A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR

Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are required in new buildings in many states. They are highly recommended in homes with fuel-burning appliances such as natural gas furnaces, stoves, ovens, water heaters, and space heaters. An alarm signals if CO reaches potentially dangerous levels.

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Sick Building Syndrome

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Do you value the health of your employees? More and more office employees are complaining about sick business syndrome (sbs). The EPA defines the term as ” situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. ” Causes and contributing factors can be linked to inadequate ventilation, chemical contaminants from indoor and outdoor sources.

Symptoms include irritated eyes, headaches, inability to concentrate, and lack of energy. Avoiding these symptoms can result in wasted company time and poor quality of life for your employees.

So how do you fix these issues? Talk to a professional about the
symptoms of your building and how best to resolve them.

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Tips to Lower Your Furnace/Boiler’s Energy Usage

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
  • Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
  • Keep the temperature fairly constant, as frequent changes will utilize more energy by causing unnecessary cycling on and off. Setting back the temperature at night, however, is recommended.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters once a month or as needed.
  • Oil-fired boilers should be professionally cleaned and tuned once a year. Gas-fired equipment needs to be checked every other year.

  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Keep draperies and shades on south-facing windows open during the heating season to allow sunlight to enter your home; close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
  • Close the door to an unoccupied room or area that is isolated from the rest of the house and turn down the thermostat or turn off the heat for that room or area.
  • Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans wisely. Turn these fans off as soon as they are no longer needed. In about 1 hour, these fans can pull out a house-full of warmed or cooled air. They can also pull dangerous furnace combustion gasses into the house in some situations.
  • Check your ducts for air leaks. First look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes.
  • Do not use duct tape to repair leaky ducts. Standard duct tape has been shown unreliable in sealing duct leaks. Various mastics or non-cloth-backed tapes are preferable.

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Common Questions About Duct Cleaning

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.

Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy bills?

Research by the U.S. EPA has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span, and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.

How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?
The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ Source Removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.

What kind of equipment is best for cleaning-truck mounted vacuums or portable vacuums?

NADCA does not endorse one kind of equipment over another. There are two main types of vacuum collection devices:

  1. Those mounted on trucks and trailers, and
  2. portable units. Truck/trailer mounted equipment is generally more powerful than portable equipment. However, portable equipment can often be brought directly into a facility, allowing the vacuum source to be located closer to the ductwork. Both types of equipment will clean to NADCA standards.

All vacuum units should be attached to a collection device for safe containment prior to disposal. Any vacuum collection device which exhausts indoors must be HEPA (high efficiency particulate arrestance) filtered. A vacuum collection device alone will not get an HVAC system clean. The use of methods and tools designed to agitate debris adhered to the surfaces within the system, in conjunction with the use of the vacuum collection device(s), is required to clean HVAC systems. (For example: brushes, air whips, and “skipper balls.”)

How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?

Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the home owner. Some of the things that may lead a home owner to consider more frequent cleaning include:

  • Smokers in the household.
  • Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander.
  • Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system.
  • Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system.
  • After home renovations or remodeling.
  • Prior to occupancy of a new home.

What is the normal price range for the air duct cleaning service?

The Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region, and level of contamination” and type of duct material. Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that making sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning – such claims are unsubstantiated. Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer into unneeded services with and/or without their permission. (If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal, and state elected officials to demand legislation.)

What criteria should I use in selecting an HVAC system cleaner?

Interview as many local contractors as you can. Ask them to come to your home and perform a system inspection and give you a quotation. To narrow down your pool of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:

  • Make sure the company is a member in good standing of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).
  • See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
  • Inquire whether the company is in good standing with your local Better Business Bureau.
  • Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
  • Verify that the company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
  • Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
  • Avoid advertisements for “$49-$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks.
  • Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours. Get references from neighbors if possible.

Why should I choose a NADCA member to have my air ducts cleaned?

NADCA Members have signed a Code of Ethics stating they will do everything possible to protect the consumer, and follow NADCA Standards for cleaning to the best of their ability, for a list of NADCA members near you, click here. Air duct cleaning companies must meet stringent requirements to become a NADCA Member. Among those requirements, all NADCA Members must have certified Air System Cleaning Specialists (ASCS) on staff, who have taken and passed the NADCA Certification Examination. Passing the exam demonstrates extensive knowledge in HVAC design and cleaning methodologies. ASCS’s are also required to further their industry education by attending seminars in order to maintain their NADCA certification status. You may view the NADCA Code of Ethics here.

What are antimicrobial chemicals and why would they need to be used?

Antimicrobial chemicals applied by some companies to the interior surface of the air ducts, to treat microbial contamination such as fungi (mold), viruses or bacteria. Before any antimicrobial chemicals are used, the system should be thoroughly cleaned. It is critical that any antimicrobial treatment used in your system be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifically for use in HVAC systems. The use of antimicrobial chemicals is an additional service that is not part of a typical air duct cleaning project.

How long should it take to clean a typical residential HVAC system?

The amount of time it takes to clean a residential HVAC system depends on many variables such as the size of the home, the number of systems, the extent of the contamination and the number of HVAC cleaners performing the job. Ask at least two contractors to inspect your system and give you a time estimate for your particular system. This will give you a general idea of how long the job should take as well as an idea of how thoroughly the contractor plans to do the job.

How can we determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective?

The best way to determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective is to perform a visual inspection of the system before and after cleaning. If any dust or debris can be seen during the visual inspection, the system should not be considered cleaned. While you can perform your own visual inspection using a flash light and mirror, a professional cleaning contractor should be able to allow you better access to system components and perhaps the use of specialized inspection tools. In addition, following this post-cleaning check list can help to ensure a top quality job.

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