ductwork

Ductwork

HVAC Ductwork Basics

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Consistent temperature control and healthy indoor air quality throughout your home rely on HVAC ductwork basics to get the job done. The blower in a typical residential air handler continuously circulates over 1,000 cubic feet per minute of conditioned air as long as the system is cycled on.

Here are some HVAC ductwork basics that show how the elements work together—and how common problems sometimes arise.

  • Residential ductwork is actually two systems: supply ducts and return ducts.

  • Supply ducts deliver conditioned air to individual rooms, entering through a supply vent on an upper portion of a wall, close to the ceiling.

  • Return ducts remove air and convey it back to the air handler to be cooled or heated again. Some houses have return vents in every room, many others have only one central return vent often located in a central hallway.

  • Supply and return air volume in the ductwork system is balanced to ensure neutral air pressure inside each room—the optimum condition for temperature control and air quality.

  • Most ductwork is not visible in a typical home. Usually, the long spans are routed through areas such as the attic or crawl space. Shorter “branch” ducts that extend into rooms may be installed inside wall cavities.

  • Rigid ducts are usually fabricated of rectangular or round sheet metal. Flexible ducts consist of a wire internal coil covered by plastic.

Potential Duct Problems

As ductwork ages, air leaks may develop at joints and other points in the system. Loss of conditioned air into unconditioned zones such as the crawl space or attic is a major contributor to increased operating costs and poor cooling and heating performance. A professional duct inspection including pressure testing can determine the extent of leakage. Proven sealing techniques will restore leaky ductwork to standards.

Thermal gain or loss frequently affects airflow temperature in ducts routed through very hot or cold zones like the attic or crawl space. Insulating exposed ductwork in these unconditioned zones resolves the issue.

Ask the experts at Air Assurance for more about HVAC ductwork basics and professional duct service to maintain indoor comfort and efficiency.

Service and Maintenance

HVAC Tape and How It's Used

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Some HVAC projects are costly and typically need a professional to perform them. Fortunately, if you're a do-it-yourselfer, there are some tasks that you can handle on your own with ease. One of the tools that will come in handy when performing such tasks is HVAC tape.

What is HVAC Tape?

HVAC tape refers to any tape that's specifically engineered for HVAC installation and maintenance tasks. For example, you can use the tape to seal flex duct, rigid duct material, and sheet metal.

How Do You Apply It?

How you apply the tape to your HVAC equipment makes the difference between dependable, long-lasting performance and expensive inefficiency. Be sure to follow the steps below:

  1. Tear or cut enough tape from the roll if you're sealing a short length of HVAC material. Apply the tape directly from the roll if you're to use it on a longer material. For easy handling, just unroll a few inches of the tape at a go while applying.

  2. Starting with the end you're using, remove the tape liner. Apply the HVAC tape while centered over the area you're sealing. Keep peeling off the liner while applying the tape. Make sure the tape stays unwrinkled on smooth surfaces and conforms to textured or uneven surfaces like reflective insulation and flex duct.

  3. If you're applying the tape straight off the roll, tear or cut it once you establish the exact length that will ensure no leaks or gaps and total system closure. Using excess tape will unnecessarily increase your repair costs.

  4. Finish your tape application by wiping it down thoroughly with a squeegee. That maximizes surface contact, resulting in a more secure bond.

Remember, HVAC tape reliability is crucial to the success of your project. Therefore, only work with a UL listed tape as it has passed a series of tests for shear strength, tensile strength, and adhesion level. If you get stuck and need responsive and reliable HVAC assistance, contact the experts at Air Assurance. We've been helping Broken Arrow homeowners with their home comfort needs since 1985.

Featured

How Does Duct Design Affect Heating and Cooling?

How Does Duct Design Affect Heating and Cooling?

If you're asked which of your home's HVAC components are most important, you'd probably say your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump. Another component that you shouldn't overlook is the duct system that distributes your conditioned air, because it directly affects your heating and cooling equipment's performance.

If the duct design is flawed, the ductwork is poorly installed, or it's damaged or leaky, you can experience problems with:

Temperature control.

Damaged or leaky ductwork that lets conditioned air escape can make it difficult or impossible to maintain your desired comfort level.

Air quality.

Pressure imbalances due to duct design flaws can pull in contaminants and allergens from unconditioned areas and erode your indoor air quality.

Energy consumption.

Overcoming duct deficiencies increases the workload of your HVAC equipment, so it uses more energy.

Component longevity.

That extra workload can also shorten your costly HVAC equipment's lifespan.

Fundamentals of Effective Ductwork Design

A properly-designed duct system should deliver the correct volume of air, at your desired temperature, to the various rooms in your home. Also, it should return stale air back to the HVAC equipment for reconditioning. An effective duct design is based on principles of air distribution and thermal gains and losses, and requires quality materials, construction and installation. Such a system also relies on:

Proper duct sizing.

Individual ducts must be sized to match the capacity of the HVAC equipment. Undersized ducts can't carry a sufficient volume of air, and oversized ducts will reduce the system's efficiency.

Balanced airflow.

To avoid creating positive or negative pressure within the house and HVAC system, the duct system must have the right number of supply and return ducts to deliver an equal volume of air.

Duct location.

Whenever possible, ducts should be placed inside the home's conditioned envelope. If ducts must be routed through unconditioned areas like a garage or attic, they need to be properly sealed and insulated to limit energy losses.

If you have concerns that flaws in your HVAC duct design are affecting heating and cooling in your Broken Arrow home, contact us today at Air Assurance for expert help.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Ductwork

Tight Ductwork: Why it's Important

Tight Ductwork: Why it's Important

To keep your HVAC system working at its most efficient level, you must have tight ducts. Leaks in your ducts allow energy loss as heated or cooled air leaves the system before it's delivered where it's needed. Uneven or overly high energy bills are a clear sign of leaking ducts. Here's why it's important to keep your ducts tight, and what you can do if you suspect you have an issue.

Tight Ducts Keep Your Home More Efficient and Comfortable

Tight ductwork is crucial for two reasons. First, it keeps your home more comfortable. Leaky ducts can allow heated or cooled energy to escape before it reaches areas of your home, and this can hurt the overall comfort of your home.Second, ducts that leak allow energy to leave the system, and with it the money you've worked hard for. Leaky ducts make your energy bills higher than they should be.

Signs of Ductwork Leaks

So beyond the discomfort or high energy bills, are there any signs that indicate you have a problem with your ducts? These can be signs of ductwork issues that need to be addressed:

  • Rattling noises from the ducts

  • Uneven heating and cooling throughout the home

  • Loud "swoosh" of air flow

While these may or may not indicate a leak, if you're noticing them, you need to talk to a qualified HVAC professional to ensure you don't have a serious problem brewing.

How to Fix a Leak

Fixing a ductwork leak requires the right knowledge and understandings about how these systems work. Duct tape, unfortunately, is all-too-common of a solution, but one that does little real good. Instead, you need to seal leaks with mastic sealant or a quality metal tape designed for the purpose. However, finding the leaks is not always easy, so it's always best to consult with a qualified HVAC professional.

Of you suspect that you might have a leaky duct problem in your Broken Arrow home, contact the Air Assurance team for an evaluation and workable solution. With tighter ducts, you will enjoy a more comfortable and more efficient home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about tight ductwork and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “byrev/Pixabay”

Ductwork

Signs That Your Ductwork is Getting Too Old

Signs That Your Ductwork is Getting Too Old

Your ductwork isn't out in plain view, so you may not think of it often or realize that its age can directly affect how well your HVAC system functions. Old ductwork that's deteriorating can gradually erode your HVAC system's energy efficiency, reduce your comfort and even degrade the air quality in your home. Once you know what to look for, it's easy to spot the signs that your aging ducts may need replacement.

Signs That Your Old Ducts Need Replacement

Here are a few of the indicators that aging ductwork is a problem in your home:

  • Ineffective design. Ducts that were installed 15 or more years ago often have serious design flaws. Nowadays, HVAC system installers design ductwork using Manual D calculations so that the duct sizes and layout are optimized to ensure balanced airflow throughout the system.

  • Increasing energy consumption. A rise in your household energy bills when your usage habits haven't changed and you keep the HVAC equipment well maintained may be directly related to energy losses from deteriorating ducts.

  • Evidence of decay or damage. Although you can't examine ductwork behind your walls and ceilings, you can assess the overall condition of the ducts by checking accessible sections in the attic, garage or crawlspace. Issues to look for include holes and gaps in the ductwork, crushed or disconnected sections, corroded metal and a lack of insulation.

  • Declining air quality. If the return side of your duct system is suffering from age-related deterioration, all kinds of harmful and unhealthy particles can be drawn into the HVAC system and pollute your air supply. If anyone in the household is experiencing worsening allergies, asthma or other breathing problems, the duct system should be inspected.

  • Comfort issues. If you're dealing with temperature inconsistencies and hot or cold spots in different rooms, poor overall ductwork design, leaks and deterioration may be impacting how much heated or cooled air reaches the registers.

If you're concerned that old ductwork may be negatively affecting comfort, air quality and energy efficiency in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance for an expert duct system inspection.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “bernard-zajac/Shutterstock”

Air Conditioning, Featured, Ventilation

If You Have Noisy Air Vents, Here's What to Do

If You Have Noisy Air Vents, Here's What to Do

It's normal to hear some noise coming from your air vents when the HVAC system is running. If the usual noise volume increases, or you start to hear flapping, rattling or high-pitched sounds from the supply vents, return grilles or ceiling diffusers, it's likely due to an increase in pressure caused by airflow restrictions somewhere in the HVAC system. Addressing the underlying cause of noisy air vents is vital, because operating the HVAC system without sufficient airflow makes the equipment work harder, so it consumes more energy and is more vulnerable to breakdowns and failures.

Solving Airflow Restrictions That Cause Noisy Vents

Airflow restrictions can occur for a number of reasons, and some are easy to diagnose and deal with on your own:

  • Dirty air filter— Replace a clogged filter right away, then check it monthly and change it when you see any debris accumulation.

  • Closed or obstructed registers— Make sure the supply and return registers are open and unobstructed by furniture, rugs or long window coverings so air can circulate freely through the system.

  • Closed duct dampers— If there are dampers on your ductwork and one gets stuck closed, it can impact proper airflow through the HVAC system. To prevent this, make sure they're all open.

  • Debris in the ductwork— Items can fall down through the registers such as nails, screws, small toys or even construction materials and sawdust. If you can't access the debris, you may need to have the ductwork cleaned professionally.

If you check for and address all of the above issues but you're still hearing noise from the vents when the blower fan is running, it's time to have an HVAC professional evaluate the system's performance. A knowledgeable pro will inspect the components and check the static pressure and CFM of air movement through the system. An expert diagnosis can determine whether there are issues like undersized ducts, inadequate return airflow, or damaged or obstructed ducts that need to be addressed.If you need help finding and fixing the cause of noisy air vents in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “altafulla/Shutterstock”

Featured, HVAC system

How Do Your HVAC Components Coordinate?

How Do Your HVAC Components Coordinate?

Each part of your HVAC system has a role to play in heating or cooling your home. By learning about the process, you can develop a greater understanding of why even simple maintenance tasks, such as changing the air filter, are important. Here's how HVAC system components coordinate to create a comfortable indoor climate.

The Ventilation Cycle

Airflow is as important to the function of heating and cooling systems as breathing oxygen is for your health.Return air ducts draw old air from your home and move it to heating or cooling component of the system. Supply ducts, on the other hand, are the delivery network for the newly filtered and conditioned air into the home’s interior. Both return and supply ducts help keep your air fresher and the temperature comfortable.Ventilation problems can affect the other HVAC system components as well as your comfort. Examples include:

  • Dirty ductwork — dust accumulation in ductwork results in poor air quality and dust inside other HVAC components.

  • Clogged air filter — This restricts air from flowing as it should to the heart of the HVAC system. Problems caused by clogged filters can include frozen evaporator coils, an overheated blower fan, furnace shut down, and dirty ductwork.

  • Inadequate ductwork— ductwork that is damaged, too large or too small will perform its role poorly and reduce the HVAC system’s efficiency.

Heating and Cooling

Your furnace performs its function by heating air flowing through its heat exchanger. If all goes well, there is sufficient airflow, and all burners, heating elements and blower fan are working well, this heated air will be pushed into supply ducts. If your ductwork is in good shape, most of the heat will remain in the air during its journey between the furnace and your registers.A similar process occurs when you use your air conditioning. Air is pushed through components in the air conditioner where it is cooled. If all goes as it should, this cooled air then flows into your home through ductwork.

To learn more about HVAC system components, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ioannis Pantzi/Shutterstock”

Duct System, Featured

What You Need to Know About Return Air Ducts

What You Need to Know About Return Air Ducts

The ductwork system in your home consists of two types of ducts: supply and return ducts. The supply ductwork carries the heated or cooled air from your HVAC equipment to your indoor spaces. The return air ducts also provide important functions for proper HVAC system operation. Here is a short list of what you should know about return air ducts.

  • They bring air back to your HVAC equipment — The most important function of return air ducts is to bring expended air back to your HVAC equipment. This balances the airflow through the system and ensures that there is plenty of air coming back to be reconditioned, filtered, and sent back out again through the supply ducts. If there is not enough return air available, your HVAC system will not heat or cool properly.

  • They must be properly sized — Return air ducts must be large enough to carry a sufficient amount of expended air back to your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump. If not enough air is brought back, your HVAC system will not be able to keep up with temperature demands. In some cases, two returns may be necessary to provide enough return air.

  • They must be correctly placed and unobstructed —Return ducts are usually placed in hallways, under stairwells, or in larger open areas of your home. This placement ensures that they will be able to pull in enough air to take back to the HVAC equipment.

  • They must be kept in good condition — Return air ducts must be kept clean, tightly connected, and properly sealed to prevent particulates and other contaminants from being pulled into the airflow. Pollutants brought into the system in the returns have a greater likelihood of getting into your home's indoor air. These pollutants can also overwhelm air filters, dirtying filters and reducing their effectiveness.

Since the company was founded in 1985, Air Assurance has been providing professional HVAC services to customers in Broken Arrow. Contact us today for more information on return air ducts and their importance in the function of your home heating or cooling system.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “lculig/Shutterstock”

Air Leaks, Duct Sealing, Duct System, Ductwork, Featured

Are Your Ducts Tight Enough to Keep Heat Inside Your Home?

Are Your Ducts Tight Enough to Keep Heat Inside Your Home?

Most people know how to locate their furnace. Fewer people know where to find heating ducts or how to tell if they are working properly. Unfortunately, without basic knowledge about the HVAC system, recognizing problems can be difficult. Here are some signs that your ducts could be in need of routine care or repairs:

  • Uneven heating or cooling

  • Unexpected increases in heating costs

  • Frequent shaking or rattling noises

  • High-pitched or "whooshing" sound

When the HVAC system is working properly, cool air is brought to the furnace to be heated, then the warmed air is sent back through tight ducts to heat your home. However, if air is having trouble moving through the ductwork, the problems may be caused by blocked ducts. Blocked ductwork can also cause noises or create hot and cold spots. Leaks also make it hard to warm your home evenly.

If you suspect problems, first check that none of the registers are blocked by furniture, then move on to looking for a solution to your heating problems. While you can compare temperatures in different areas of the house or other very basic tests, a technician is required to perform most tests. HVAC experts look for air leaks, determine whether the ducts are the correct size for your living space, and check to see if you have tight ducts or if they need repair.Many people believe that repairs can easily be done with duct tape, but this does not give secure results. For reliable, long lasting repairs, a technician should always be consulted. Professionals replace unusable segments of ductwork and use high quality, durable supplies such as sheet metal screws, mastic, joint collars, metal tape, and fiberglass to repair less seriously damaged parts of the ductwork.

Air Assurance has been taking care of HVAC systems in homes and businesses in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma since 1985. If you have any concerns about whether your tight ducts will keep you warm this winter, call us today!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kichigin/Shutterstock”

Duct System, Ductwork, Featured

Decide If It’s Time to Replace Your Ductwork

Decide If It’s Time to Replace Your Ductwork

Ductwork is the key component of your HVAC system that delivers conditioned air to all the rooms in your home. Since it's hidden away behind your ceilings and walls, you may not realize the duct system is in poor condition and having a negative impact on your energy bills, comfort and indoor air quality. Here are some subtle warning signs of deteriorating ducts that are easy to identify:

  • Temperature variations in different areas, and hot or cold spots.

  • Excessive dust on the registers, household surfaces and furniture.

  • Worsening allergies, asthma and other breathing problems.

  • Evidence of mold growth inside the HVAC system.

  • Rising heating and cooling costs due to a loss of energy efficiency.

Factors to Weigh When Deciding on Duct Replacement

If you're experiencing the symptoms of ductwork problems, you can weigh the following factors to help you decide if it's due for replacement:

  • Workmanship and age. If the duct system wasn't designed well, made from quality materials and installed correctly, it may only have a 10- to 15-year service life.

  • Condition of the accessible ducting. Take a close look at the exposed ducting in your crawl space, attic or garage for issues such as disconnected spans, leaky joints, dust streaks near the seams, or rust and corrosion.

  • Airflow inconsistencies and temperature variations. Reduced air volume at some registers and temperature differences between rooms can be symptoms of hidden duct problems such as collapsed or disconnected sections, decaying sealant or missing insulation.

  • Air leakage. If you want to know the extent of air leakage in the ducts, get a blower test performed. During the test, the ducts are pressurized and the amount of airflow needed to maintain that pressure is measured to calculate air loss.

If you need help deciding if replacement is your best option, have the duct system inspected by an experienced HVAC professional. A knowledgeable contractor will make sure new ducts are properly designed and installed, then sealed, insulated, and tested for leaks.

For expert advice about whether it's time to replace the ductwork in your Broken Arrow home, contact us today at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”

Air Leaks, Ductwork, Featured

Why You Should Have a Pro Seal Your Air Ducts

Why You Should Have a Pro Seal Your Air Ducts

You may not think about your home's ductwork often since it's hidden from sight, but deficiencies in this critical HVAC system component can erode your comfort. If ducts aren't properly sealed and insulated, up to 40 percent of the system's conditioned air output can escape before it reaches the registers. Duct sealing can solve this problem and prevent other serious issues as well.

Benefits of Professional Duct Sealing

When you hire an experienced professional, you'll have peace of mind that the air ducts in your home are thoroughly inspected and any damaged or disconnected sections are repaired. A pro seals the seams with fiberglass mesh and mastic and then wraps the ducts with R-8 insulation. Taking these steps is especially important in hard-to-access areas like the attic, garage, and crawl space where air losses often occur. Some of the major benefits you'll gain from the process include:

  • Greater comfort — When duct deficiencies are corrected, conditioned airflow from the registers improves. You'll experience fewer hot and cold spots in different rooms, and you'll find it easier to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house.

  • Lower energy bills — Heating and cooling devours roughly 45 percent of the energy used in your home each year. Reducing air leakage in the duct system by 30 percent can result in energy savings of up to 16 percent and help curb high yearly heating and cooling costs.

  • Better indoor air quality— When the ducts are properly sealed, unhealthy contaminants can't enter the air supply from the attic, wall cavities, or other unconditioned spaces.

  • Enhanced safety — Eliminating leaks in the duct system lowers the risk of carbon monoxide exposure from a back-drafting gas water heater or furnace.

  • Longer equipment life span— Compensating for air leakage puts added strain on the HVAC equipment, which can shorten its service life. Sealing and insulating ducts reduces this unnecessary wear and tear, and it also helps keep out debris that can build up on sensitive components and cause a premature failure.

To learn more about the many benefits of duct sealing, contact the Broken Arrow HVAC pros at Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Lopolo/Shutterstock”

Featured, HVAC system, Preventative Maintenance

It's Time for Fall HVAC Maintenance! Here's What You Need to Know

It's Time for Fall HVAC Maintenance! Here's What You Need to Know

Emergency repairs to your HVAC system are not only expensive, they are often very inconvenient. You may have to wait for hours on the hottest or coldest day of the year for a technician to have time to address the issue. No one can second guess all of the things that can go wrong with an appliance, but regular maintenance can often spare you many uncomfortable hours. Follow these basic steps for fall HVAC maintenance to minimize your frustrations.

Address basic housekeeping tasks first.

Visually inspect air filters monthly. Clean or replace them as necessary. Dirty air filters force the fan to work harder, draining energy and wearing out the motor. An added benefit of a clean filter is cleaner air, helping you breathe easier. Remove dirt and debris that has collected around the unit. Sweep, vacuum, or dust around the coils and exposed parts. Black stains around air registers can indicate dirty HVAC ductwork, poor air filter maintenance, or furnace malfunctions. Add weather stripping to doors and windows to eliminate cold drafts.

Check thermostats.

Adjust settings as dictated by the weather to ensure that the system maintains a comfortable temperature in the home. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust temperatures during periods when the home is unoccupied to save energy and money. In colder months, set the temperature to 68 degrees during waking hours and as low as 60 degrees while sleeping.

Schedule a maintenance check.

An HVAC professional will inspect electrical connections to make sure they are secure and delivering the correct voltage and current for optimal performance. The technician will lubricate moving parts to eliminate friction in the motor and extend its life. The technician will also check fuel connections for dirt, damage, leaks, and safety hazards, as well as inspect the condensate drain to make sure it is not clogged.

When it's time for you to schedule fall HVAC maintenance, contact the NATE-certified professionals at Air Assurance. Be sure to ask about our Extended Service Protection Plan. Our team includes the largest full-service HVAC fleet in the Tulsa metropolitan area, making our customers comfortable for 30 years!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Taiga/Shutterstock”

Featured, HVAC system

Are You a First-Time Home Buyer? Don't Forget These HVAC Tips

Are You a First-Time Home Buyer? Don't Forget These HVAC Tips

As a first-time home buyer, it's advisable to only consider homes that have been professionally inspected. That said, many home inspectors aren't familiar enough with HVAC systems to make accurate reports. Follow up with your own HVAC questions, consult an HVAC contractor if needed, and consider the following tips:

HVAC Tips for the First-Time Home Buyer

  • Types of HVAC systems - First item on the agenda is to familiarize yourself with the HVAC system. Is the heating system a natural gas furnace, oil furnace, boiler, or dual-fuel system? Is a split-system heat pump or A/C used for home cooling?

  • System age - If the homeowner or realtor doesn't know the age of the HVAC system, contact the manufacturer with the model number to find out the age of the heating and cooling systems. Generally speaking, if the furnace is more than 12 years old and the heat pump or A/C are more than 10 years old, consider the expense to your pocketbook to replace them in the near future—especially if professional maintenance wasn't performed semi-annually.

  • Add-on systems - Add-on systems can greatly enhance home comfort, indoor air quality and energy efficiency. Find out if the HVAC system includes a zoning system, whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier, a ventilation system, WiFi thermostat, and air-purification system. Zoning systems and ventilation systems, for example, are going to provide you enhanced comfort.

  • Transferable Warranty - If the HVAC system is new or only a few years old, ask to see the warranty. Check if the warranty is transferable. This will give you peace of mind for the remainder.

  • Maintenance report - Regular professional HVAC maintenance is vital to maximize efficiency and to extend HVAC lifespan. If a homeowner has been mindful to schedule regular maintenance, they probably kept all records. Review the records to learn the HVAC system's history.

  • Ductwork - Don't forget the air ducts. Ask for the latest ductwork inspection. Poor duct design and leaky ducts will cost you substantially in higher energy bills.

If you're a first-time home buyer, it pays to consult a professional to perform an HVAC evaluation. For more information, please contact Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).Credit/Copyright Attribution: “www.BillionPhotos.com/Shutterstock”

Energy Savings, Featured

Ways to Save Energy in the 3 Most Important Rooms in Your Home

Ways to Save Energy in the 3 Most Important Rooms in Your Home

The ways you can save energy at home vary from room to room, but look carefully and you'll discover many opportunities for reducing your carbon footprint and realizing energy savings. Let the tips below guide you, and use them in your home whenever you can.

Living Room

The living room offers ways to save energy from ceiling to floor. Start with the air conditioning/heating registers. Make sure ductwork is securely attached to the vents so that no air is leaking around them. Check for air leaks around windows, exterior doors, light switches and wiring on exterior walls. Seal the openings with caulk or insulation.

Close blinds and curtains in summer to prevent heat gain. In winter, open the blinds during the day, and close them at night to prevent heat loss.When you choose an entertainment center or appliance, make sure it's rated by Energy Star, the Environmental Protection Agency's energy efficiency program. Plug all electronic appliances and lamps into a power strip, which you should turn off when you leave the room. Also, use fluorescent light bulbs for light fixtures, and turn lights off when the occupants leave the room.

Bathroom

Save water by fixing toilet, sink and shower leaks. Take shorter showers and install low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets. To help get rid of moisture that contributes to higher humidity and a clammy feeling that inspires turning down the thermostat, install exhaust ventilation. Replace vanity lights with Energy Star-certified fixtures and bulbs, and always turn off lights when you leave the room.

Attic

Keep heat from the attic out of the home by insulating and weatherstripping the attic hatch. Likewise, seal air leaks around an attic or furnace flue, and cover gaps with metal flashing or high-temperature caulk. Repair holes in ducts with mastic and metal tape. Make sure there's proper ventilation in the attic to let out heat and moisture.

For more on how to save energy at home, contact Air Assurance. We've been serving the Tulsa metropolitan area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  Credit/Copyright Attribution: “dgbomb/Shutterstock”

Mold, Ventilation

Eliminate Black Mold From Your A/C Vents with These Cleaning Tips

Eliminate Black Mold From Your A/C Vents with These Cleaning Tips

Finding black mold on your A/C vents isn’t a reflection of your housekeeping habits. Often damp with condensation and supplied with continuous airflow circulating airborne microorganisms, air conditioner components offer the perfect environment for black mold growth, as well as common mildew. Since dormant spores that spawn mold are in continuous circulation through your ductwork, occasional outbreaks on your A/C vents aren’t unusual. Here’s how to get rid of them:Before getting to work, put on protective clothes, gloves and a high-efficiency face mask. You don’t need to be breathing black mold spores in if you can avoid it.

  • Unscrew the vent grille of your A/C unit and place it in a large basin or tub. Then, add a few sprinkles of laundry detergent and enough water to completely submerge the vent grille.

  • Vacuum the inside of the exposed duct to remove any dust within reach.

  • After 15 minutes, remove the vent grille from the basin, rinse with clean water and allow it to air dry.

  • Spray the interior of your duct with water to prevent spreading the dry mold dust around. Then, wipe down the duct surfaces with soapy water.

  • Because simple mold removal is not sufficient to stop mold growth, you'll need to disinfect the vent surfaces to prevent recurrence. Make a simple cleaning solution, and use a mop or other long-handled cleaning instrument to swap the duct with the mixture. Also, don't forget to apply disinfectant to the blades of the vent grille.

  • Let all components thoroughly dry before reassembling, and then re-attach the intake vent cover.

  • Lastly, discard all rags and other cleaning supplies that may be contaminated with mold spores in a sealed plastic bag.

For more information on preventing mold growth on A/C vents and any other HVAC components, contact Air Assurance in Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Joe Belanger/Shutterstock”

Duct Sealing

Find Out How Sealing Your Ducts Can Save More Energy

Find Out How Sealing Your Ducts Can Save More Energy

Homes with forced-air heating and air conditioning systems use ductwork to distribute conditioned air. Unfortunately, a quarter to a third of heated and cooled air is commonly lost through leaks in the ductwork. Sealing your ducts can create obvious benefits in terms of greater comfort, higher efficiency and utility savings.

Why do ducts leak? For most of us who have never seen our ductwork, it's good to understand what's going on.

Poor Installation or Repair

The primary cause of leaking ductwork is poor installation. Joints, seams and fittings can and do fall apart. What's more, an unbalanced system can create high or low pressure that exacerbates this problem.Repairing or sealing with so-called duct tape is another issue. Duct tape deteriorates over time, particularly given the conditions that can prevail in a home's attic, crawlspace, garage or basement, where ducts are usually located. Mastic sealant or foil tape should be used instead. If your ductwork lies in an unconditioned area, consider wrapping ducts with insulation.

Leaks can occur anywhere, including where the main air supply meets the air handler, connections between bends and the main duct line and from smaller branches at the main supply line.

Benefits of Sealing Ducts

  • Comfort. Your HVAC system will not have to work as hard to provide you with efficient heating or cooling if ducts are well sealed.

  • Utility savings. Obviously, if your HVAC system isn't working as hard, the lower costs will be reflected on your bill.

  • Efficiency. If you've invested in newer, more efficient equipment, you'll want to get the most out of them. Make your system even more efficient by preventing conditioned air from leaking into the attic, basement, crawlspace and garage.

  • Better air quality. Sealing ducts can reduce the amount of pollutants circulating in your system.

  • Reduced fossil fuel consumption. By reducing your use of fossil fuels, you're contributing less to carbon emissions.

For more information about sealing your ducts, contact Air Assurance in Broken Arrow. We've been serving the Tulsa area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Silroby80/Shutterstock”

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Our State Is Windy, But You Don't Have to Put Up With Dust in Your Home

Our State Is Windy, But You Don't Have to Put Up With Dust in Your Home

There are many sources of dust in your home, and ridding your home of it completely could prove problematic. A dirty air conditioner or furnace filter could be the culprit, or it could be time for a new vacuum cleaner bag. Other sources of dust include activities such as sanding. Air leaks in your HVAC ducts can bring dust into your home as can air leaks around windows and doors.Here is what you can do:Every month you should change or clean your air conditioner filter. You can use metal-backed duct tape to seal the filter in its place, and write the date you changed it right on the tape. You will always know exactly when you need to change it again.Does your clothes dryer vent outside? It should. The vent should be secured to the dryer. Check it regularly to ensure it is not obstructed and that there are no holes in it. If it is damaged, replace it with a metal vent duct. Clean your dryer venting at least once per year.One of the largest sources of dust and debris in your home is your shoes. Everyone who comes into your home should remove his or her shoes at the door.Pets that go outside can also bring debris and dust into your home. Consider wiping them down when they are ready to come in, and bathe them regularly. This does double duty for home air quality because it also removes pollen that might be tracked into your home.Sealing your home against drafts and air leaks can also help eliminate dust in your home.If your ducts are leaking air, sealing these leaks can prevent dust from being circulated throughout your house.Have a professional inspect your ductwork if you are afraid they are the source of dust in your home. A qualified HVAC technician can discuss your options for professional duct cleaning.For more information on reducing dust in your home in the Broken Arrow area, contact Air Assurance Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “lanych/Shutterstock”

HVAC system

Ways to Make Sure Your HVAC System Is Debris Free While Remodeling

Are you planning a remodeling project in the near future? Don't forget to protect your HVAC system. Construction can produce dust and debris which are drawn into the air ducts and can potentially damage system components. The fan in the HVAC unit can be knocked out of alignment because of a buildup of debris and other components can also be affected by pollutants. There are steps you can take to minimize reduced air quality and damage to system components.

Ways to Make Sure Your HVAC System Is Debris Free While Remodeling

Tips to Protect Your HVAC System

  • Reduce use of the furnace and air conditioning – Limiting the operation of the HVAC system helps to prevent pollutants from being drawn into the ductwork. This will reduce the risk of a clogged air filter.

  • Keep registers closed in work areas – The outside weather conditions may mandate running the furnace or A/C during construction. Closing and sealing the registers in the area under construction will significantly limit debris from entering the air duct system. The registers may be left open in non-work areas to maintain an acceptable comfort level.

  • Clean the work area often – Try to do dust-producing tasks such as cuttingand sanding outside the home whenever possible. Clean the work area often to ensure that dust is not dragged throughout your home.

  • Use plastic tarps to protect non-work areas – Isolate the construction area with plastic tarps and cover furniture near the project.

  • Change the air filter often – Debris may enter the HVAC system even if precautions are taken. Any buildup can be minimized by changing the air filter often. A good quality filter will help to trap debris of all sizes that enter the system.

  • Inspect the ductwork – You may want to consider a professional inspection of the ductwork and HVAC components after the renovation is complete. A qualified technician can use powerful vacuum equipment to clean the air ducts and inspect the entire system for any potential problems.

Please contact Air Assurance with any concerns about HVAC protection during a remodeling project. We have been serving  the Broken Arrow Tulsa area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “scyther5/Shutterstock”

Humidity

How Well Does Your A/C Remove Humidity?

How Well Does Your A/C Remove Humidity?

Oklahoma can get pretty humid over the summer, and everyone knows that the heat is harder to tolerate when there's a lot of moisture in the air. Extra moisture causes the air to become muggy and oppressive.  But did you know that you can use your A/C to remove humidity?How well your A/C removes the humidity can depend on a number of factors including, how strong the humidity is, how hot the day is, and how many moisture producing sources you have in your home at any given time.   Here are  a few tips on how to use the A/C to remove humidity.

  • When your compressor runs, it automatically takes some humidity out of the air, but the more moisture it's condensing, the more of its energy is devoted to humidity control instead of cooling. If you turn the A/C on early in the morning before the heat of the day builds up, you can get a head start on dehumidifying the house before more energy needs to be devoted to cooling, helping it keep up.

  • Check your home for air leaks in the doors, windows, or ductwork that may be letting humid air back into you home. Sealing these leaks with weatherstripping, caulking or duct tape can significantly change how hard your unit has to work to keep your home dehumidified.

  • Turn on exhaust fans when using the stove or shower, to make sure that as much of moisture and heat gets vented before even making it into the rest of your home.

  • Don't let the fan on the A/C run if the compressor isn't on. The fan doesn't dehumidify while the compressor is off, and can blow more moisture back into the house.

  • Don't turn the thermostat down to dehumidify faster. Unless you have a two-stage cooling system, the compressor can only dehumidify so fast. Turning the thermostat down just causes it to run for longer, burning more energy for very little benefit.

For more information on using your A/C to remove humidity in your home, contact Air Assurance.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: GSPhotography/Shutterstock”

Air Conditioning

Replacing the A/C: Questions You Should Be Asking

Replacing the A/C: Questions You Should Be Asking

If your old HVAC system has been experiencing breakdowns recently, hasn't been cooling as well, or was purchased more than ten years ago, it's probably time to think about replacing the A/C.A/C's that are older than ten years take significantly more energy to run for the same-- or in some cases, even less-- cooling benefit than current models. Ten years is also about the service life on a standard compressor, and so units that are older than ten years are more likely to start having problems, and A/C repair bills can quickly add up.If I'm replacing the A/C, do I have to replace the whole HVAC system?  It is best to replace all of the equipment at the same time. Otherwise, you can end up with ductwork that is too small to carry the full cooling capacity of your new unit to the living spaces of your house, or insufficient air handlers on the indoor unit. Mix and match systems are also more prone to energy loss and maintenance issues, which defeats some of the financial benefit of getting an energy-efficient system.How do I know if I've picked the right size A/C for my house?  This is a great question. If the system is too big, you'll be using more energy than necessary, but if it's too small, it'll have a hard time keeping up with your cooling needs. The best way to know if you're looking at the right size HVAC system for your house is to have a trained technician come in and do a detailed cooling load report on your home.There are so many systems on the market. Which type should I get? What type of cooling system is best largely depends on your circumstances and preferences, but here are some guidelines:

  • A higher SEER rating will give more energy efficient operation

  • A two-stage cooling system will remove more humidity

  • A heat pump can provide year round heating and cooling

For more advice on replacing the A/C with the best results, contact Air Assurance, serving the greater Tulsa Metropolitan area since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “_Leigh Prather/Shutterstock”