IS YOUR HVAC SYSTEM READY FOR WINTER?
Soon temperatures will be dropping like the leaves and now is the best time to get ready for our Saskatchewan cold winter weather. Getting your HVAC system ready sooner rather than later is always a good idea. The change of seasons is often a trigger for many to do a thorough cleaning of the home – washing walls, cleaning closets, etc. but is your heating, ventilating and air conditioning system ready for the cold weather? It too should become part of your regular cleaning schedule. Full Throttle has a team of professionals ready to help!
Your HVAC system is important in regulating your family’s comfort. There are several things you can do to prepare your heating system for these frigid temperatures. One of the most important things is to make sure all components are clean. Blockages or restrictions anywhere in the system reduces efficiency and can negatively affect the air quality in your home. One of our trained professionals can ensure your furnace and ductwork are thoroughly and properly cleaned. Something homeowners often do not think about in the winter is the air conditioning coil. Dirt and debris accumulating on an air conditioner coil can block airflow across the coil, increasing the cost of heating or cooling your home. In severe cases, air conditioning coils or condensing coils can become so blocked that airflow is seriously reduced.
Spring Cleaning? Don't forget about your air conditioning coil!
When many people think of their air conditioners, they think only about the outside unit (condenser unit).
Evaporator coils (see diagram below), commonly referred to as air conditioning coils are almost always indoors, so they are safe, right? Afraid not. With nearly all the air in your house passing through the evaporator coil (even in the winter when your heat is on), they are repeatedly exposed to everything in the air. Even with a good filter, there can be a substantial buildup of dust particles, grease, smoke, dander and pet hair.
But wait, there’s more! The evaporator coils are usually damp from condensate and are placed in a cool, dark place — an ideal environment for breeding bacteria and other microorganisms.
Dirt and debris accumulating on an air conditioner coil can block airflow across the coil, increasing the cost of heating or cooling your home. In severe cases, air conditioning coils or condensing coils can become so blocked that airflow is seriously reduced, possibly also leading to an evaporator or cooling coil icing problem indoors which can lead to overheating and damaging the compressor (the heart of your air conditioning), or simply loss of cooling capacity of the system.
In addition, a blocked evaporator coil can cause the AC compressor to run at higher than normal temperatures - a condition that over time can break down lubricants circulating inside the system, thus shortening the life of the compressor motor itself.
Cleaning the evaporator coils not only helps the system operate properly, but it could also help avoid illness and maintain a healthy living environment for the home’s occupants.
Picture of the dust and debris removed from an air conditioning coil by one of our trained technicians!
Will duct cleaning eliminate all dust from my house?
Your furnace does not produce dust. The dust ends up in the furnace and ductwork from other sources. With everyday living you are continually producing dust.
What is in household dust? “The specific dust mix in any household differs according to climate, age of the house and the number of people who live in it — not to mention the occupants' cooking, cleaning and smoking habits. But nearly everywhere, dust consists of some combination of shed bits of human skin, animal fur, decomposing insects, food debris, lint and organic fibers from clothes, bedding and other fabrics, tracked-in soil, soot, particulate matter from smoking and cooking, and, disturbingly, lead, arsenic and even DDT.” [Kluger, Jeffrey. “What’s in Household Dust? Don’t Ask.” Time Magazine 23 Feb. 2010]
The air circulates in your house five to seven times a day through the air ducts of your HVAC heating and cooling system, carrying with it the dust and debris of everyday living. Duct cleaning will remove the dust and debris from your air ducts and your HVAC heating and cooling system, therefore, removing the dust that would otherwise be recirculated into the air via the HVAC system.
Removing this dust and debris increases the efficiency of your HVAC system. This alone can be a worthwhile cost saving! Because household dust is produced continually, we recommend having your ductwork cleaned every two years.
Energy Star suggests changing your furnace filter once a month, especially during the winter and summer months when your HVAC system gets used the most. If your filter is dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 6-8weeks. A dirty filter will slow down airflow and make the system work harder to you warm or cool thus wasting energy. Full Throttle Furnace & Duct Cleaning provides a free standard size pleated filter with each cleaning service. We also sell additional filters for your convenience.
How Often Should You Have Your Ductwork Cleaned:
Our standard recommendation is once every two years, however, with multiple pets in your home, we would recommend that you get a good thorough cleaning done and then have it done again in one year’s time. The technician can then determine at that time whether or not it should be done less frequently or more frequently and put you on a regular maintenance schedule if you so choose.
We also recommend cleaning if you have had any of the following:
Renovation: If your home has been remodelled, your ductwork should be cleaned.
Rodents: If you have had mice we recommend cleaning the ductwork and HVAC unit.
Contaminants: If noticeable debris, pet hair, odours, or other contaminants are being released into the room through the ducts then the ducts probably need to be cleaned.
Illness: If someone in your family is suffering from an unexplained allergy-related illness, and you’ve taken every other possible step to decontaminate your home, you may want to consider having your ducts cleaned to see if the HVAC system was the culprit.
DOES DUCT CLEANING SAVE ENERGY?
Although there are other benefits to duct cleaning, studies have never been found that say that duct cleaning will save energy. However, cleaning the blower fan and air conditioning coil will save energy - cleaning the ducts alone as an energy measure will not. That is why it is important in selecting your contractor to make sure the technicians clean the blower and air conditioning coil (and in high-efficiency furnaces, the recoup coil). It seems most duct cleaning companies do not have qualified technicians that have the knowledge and training to complete these services but the technicians at Full Throttle Furnace & Duct Cleaning Inc. have been fully trained in the process by Clint Orr who has more than 10 years’ experience in the HVAC industry and has a Red-Seal Journeyman Certificate.