Both homeowners and business owners will benefit by performing regular, easy equipment maintenance on their own. By utilizing some of these simple tips, you can extend the life of your equipment and save on future repair costs. Click on the link below to download and print our handy maintenance guide. We suggest keeping it in a safe, convenient place for future reference – such as next to your equipment.
Heating and Cooling tips
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What is air balancing?
In its simplest form, air balancing is the process of testing and adjusting your air-conditioning system to deliver the right amount of air to each room in your home. The actual air balancing process includes a number of related tests that determine the performance of your air-conditioning and heating system. Air balancing hoods are used to measure the amount of air at each grille. Manometers measure system pressures. Hygrometers measure system temperature and humidity. The results of all these tests are compiled into a report to determine how well your system is functioning.
What can air balancing Can Do For my system?
It’s not uncommon to find a system 30% to 50% low on airflow. Air passes through the equipment and carries the heating or cooling inside. The effectiveness of the equipment is entirely dependent on the amount of airflow. When your certified technician measures the airflow he can "see" system performance. With this information he can diagnose, repair and balance the duct system for maximum system performance. The end result is rooms that are the same temperature, cleaner air, better humidity control and real energy savings.
Can any system be balanced?
A contractor with the right tools and training can improve the performance of virtually any system. The more accessible your ductwork is, the easier it is to perform balancing and duct renovation work.
What’s the difference between a GTR Technician and other heating and air conditioning techs?
Most companies are in business to just fix or replace heating and cooling equipment. Our technicians consider the entire system and are qualified to test, diagnose, and repair your ducts as well as your equipment.
Most contractors tell me that I’ll save big on my utility bills and be more comfortable by just replacing my existing equipment with a more efficient model. Is this true?
It could be, as long as the duct system is in the same condition as the new equipment. If it isn’t, the system will only function as well as the ducts do. Compare it to installing a brand-new race car engine on an old, beat up sedan.
How will air balancing solve my problem of rooms with different temperature?
The airflow through the system is what carries the heating or cooling. By adjusting the volume of airflow, we adjust the amount of heating or cooling a room needs to become comfortable.
What should I expect from my heating and cooling contractor?
Your contractor should always check the static pressure of your system whenever repairing or planning to replace your heating and/or cooling equipment. A familiar comparison is when you go to your doctor, someone always checks your blood pressure. Like blood pressure, static pressure is one of the key vital signs of your comfort system. This test helps your contractor identify any significant blockage or leakage. With this initial testing along with an indepth interview, your contractor can recommend the appropriate diagnostic tests followed by recommendations to correct existing issues and optimize your home’s comfort and energy efficiency.
What is a duct system?
The duct system is a series of conduits that carry the warm and cool air from your air conditioning and heating equipment into your home and then take it back to the equipment. The ducts also control how much air is delivered to each room. The right amount of air will keep the room temperatures where they need to be. If ducts are damaged, improperly installed or the wrong size, they can cut your system’s ability to heat or cool by more than half on hot or cold days, when you need it the most. Your system may or may not be delivering air evenly. Your house probably has a web of ducts weaving through your walls.
Why Should I Have My Ducts Fixed?
A poorly performing duct system can cause air comfort problems, high utility bills and could become hazardous. A qualified contractor can measure your entire system’s performance and show you how to get the most out of your central heating and air-conditioning.
How well do my ducts work?
Ducts move air, and air is invisible. So to determine if your ducts work or not, air properties must be measured. A GTR technician can measure how much air goes to each room and compare it to how much is needed. He will also take other measurements including temperatures and pressures to determine how well your ducts work.
Can my ducts be fixed?
The typical duct renovation includes removing damaged ducts, straightening them, adding proper suspension and sealing all the joints. Sometimes larger ducts need to be installed to certain rooms or the registers and grilles need to be replaced. Your contractor should review the test results with you and make recommendations for duct repairs or additions. Other improvements might include adjusting fan speeds or improving your air filtration system.
Why don’t most contractors address my duct system?
Unfortunately few have the knowledge or own the tools and instruments to measure the performance of your duct system. If they can’t measure it, they have no idea how to fix it, or even where to begin. They assume that the ducts are just fine.
How can ducts affect my system performance?
Here’s an example: A 30% return duct leak on a hot or cold day can decrease your heating or cooling capacity more than 50% That may sound extreme, but it’s not an uncommon condition.
Some contractors have offered to seal my ducts. Isn’t that the same thing?
No. While duct sealing is definitely done as part of a renovation, sealing by itself cannot address many of the flaws in a duct system. In many cases, just sealing the duct can make the problem worse, as it could choke down airflow causing equipment failure, major comfort problems. In extreme cases, it has caused back-drafting of flues leading to dangerous carbon monoxide problems.
Will renovating my ducts make the rooms that are uncomfortable finally more comfortable?
Comfort will increase. A good renovation should also improve indoor air quality and reduce energy use.
How can I be assured the ducts have been renovated properly?
Your contractor should test and adjust the results of his work when the duct renovation has been completed. This step is called air balancing. Up to just 10 years ago, air balancing was performed only on large commercial buildings. Today you can get this same precision adjustment in your home. He will provide you with a test report showing the final operating condition of your system compared to how it functioned before the repairs were made. In other words, your contractor will prove that you got what you paid for - in writing!