Problems You May Miss If You Attempt to Clean the Ducts on Your Own

December 4th, 2014

Every once in a while, you probably take the time to make sure you do a full-scale cleaning of your home, taking care to reach some of the nooks and crannies that are often neglected during a routine cleaning session. But one of the places that homeowners tend to neglect is the ducts. While you may be able to take a vacuum or a brush to the vent and a small area of the duct opening, you won’t be able to reach the portion of the ducts where some of the most potentially hazardous threats to your respiratory health may lurk.

Duct cleaning is vital not only to the quality of the air you breathe but also for the operation of your heating and air conditioning system. In order for your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) unit to be able to run at peak efficiency, it must receive and distribute a certain amount of airflow from and to your home. Without duct cleaning, the efficiency and performance of your unit suffers, as can your health, but this is a job you shouldn’t attempt on your own.

Why It’s a Job Best Left to Professionals

Simply put, your home vacuum is incapable of reaching most of the contaminants that pose a threat to the indoor air quality in your home. The ducts may contain particles such as dust, pet dander, and pollen. Or, moisture inside the ductwork or on the indoor air handler may have led to the development of mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Professionals have tools to safely scrub the lining of ducts to remove stuck-on contaminants that most homeowners miss when they attempt air duct cleaning on their own. Generally, technicians employ the use of a powerful vacuum which creates negative pressure in the ducts so that debris is rattled away from the lining and sucked into the hose. They will perform an inspection of the ducts and use a delicate brush to ensure the inside is completely clean and clear. And if you attempt to clean the ducts on your own, you may miss a major problem that is often found during inspection—duct leaks that could cause homeowners to lose up to 30% of energy efficiency every month.

Contact the team at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning and be sure you’ve chosen industry experts for a thorough duct cleaning in Louisville. Give us a call today!

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Accutemp Heating & Air Conditioning, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Some of Your Options for Air Filtration in Jeffersontown

November 17th, 2014

Is the air in your home really as clean as it could be? Even if you change the filter of your HVAC system regularly, you may not be getting the air filtration you need to keep everyone in your home healthy and comfortable. If you call on indoor air quality experts, like the friendly people at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning, you may find out about new air filtration options that can help improve your living conditions and give you peace of mind.

Mechanical Filters

Your HVAC system came with a mechanical air filter to trap particles and prevent them from entering through the ducts and recirculating through the home. If you continue to rely on the same type of standard air filter you were given initially, you may be missing out on an opportunity to clean the air every time you run your heater or air conditioner. Look for the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) on a new filter, and try choosing a filter with a MERV of 12 or greater. These are effective at removing smaller particles than a standard filter, and can eliminate mold spores, dusting aids, pollen, and lead dust.

Electronic Air Cleaners

For advanced protection in the home, try installing an electronic air cleaner as well. These are recommended for people with respiratory problems like allergies and asthma, as they remove very fine particles from the air. There are two types of electronic air cleaner: an electrostatic precipitator and an ion generator. The former sucks in air to charge particles so that they stick to metal plates with an opposite charge, which must be cleaned every few months. An ion generator charges particles in the air instead so they cling to surfaces like the walls and drapes rather than circulating in the air.

UV Germicidal Lights

People who are at risk for illness due to immune system disorders might also consider UV germicidal lights as an option for filtration. These are installed in the ducts and can sterilize and kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms so they no longer pose a threat to your health.

Call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning to learn more about the best options for your indoor air quality in Jeffersontown today.

Do Geothermal Heating Systems Need Many Repairs over Time?

November 10th, 2014

Geothermal heating systems are an efficient and reliable way to warm up a home. Using the heat found in the ground below the frost line as a medium for heat exchange, a geothermal heat pump will not struggle during extremely cold temperatures the way that a standard air-source heat pump will.

However, homeowners often feel reluctant to take the geothermal route because of the extent of the installation and their concerns about how well the system will operate. Although geothermal installation does require a significant amount of space (and therefore it will not work with all properties), these heating systems are among the most durable available for homes. As for repairs, geothermal systems have some special considerations but do not require a large number of repair jobs compared to other heating systems like air-source heat pumps, furnaces, and boilers.

To learn more about geothermal systems and geothermal heating repair in Jeffersonville, IN and the surrounding areas, call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning and talk to our specialists today. We handle numerous services for geothermal systems throughout the greater Louisville Kentucky and Southern Indiana areas.

Geothermal heating repairs

The part of a geothermal system that people usually feel concerned about is the ground loops. These plastic loops carry the refrigerant (usually a solution of water and anti-freeze) that moves heat from the ground into the heat pump system indoors and the heat exchanger. The loops are either buried 6–10 feet down (horizontal configuration) or 300–450 feet down (vertical configuration). These loops rarely need repairs, however, and they can sometimes endure for more than 50 years. If the loops do develop leaks, the problem is not difficult to locate: technicians insert a dye into the refrigerant from indoors and then track where the color emerges on the property outdoors. Then they can make precise excavations to repair the leak.

Most of the repairs that a geothermal heat pump may require are for its indoor heat pump elements. In this way, a geothermal system is no different than any heat pump, and will not suffer from a greater number of repair needs—provided the system receives regular maintenance.

In general, you should expect a geothermal system that received high-quality professional installation to last for many years without requiring major repairs. You will need to schedule routine maintenance for the system every year from professionals, but you must do this for any heating system.

We offer maintenance services that will keep any geothermal system in the best condition possible.

Call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning for geothermal installation as well as for any needs you have for geothermal heating repair in Jeffersonville, IN.

Common Reasons to Call for Commercial Heating Repair in Louisville

November 3rd, 2014

Managing a commercial property involves a lot of hard work, so much in fact that it may be difficult for you to tell when something is in a state of disrepair. Chances are, you’re simply too busy running your business. Although you care about the health and comfort of your employees, tenants, customers, and/or clients, you aren’t always attuned to problems in the building and may feel as if you don’t have the time to address a minor heating issue right away.

But if you don’t call for heating repairs at the first sign of trouble, you may actually find yourself with more worries later on. Minor heating repair needs can grow into serious issues. Parts may become worn down while they are running at full speed in an attempt to heat up the building, which could cause the unit to fail. Be sure to take any complaints about unusual heating system behavior seriously, and call for repairs at the first sign of trouble.

Why Call a Commercial Specialist

  • Not Enough Heat: If your system does not produce enough heat, it may be a sign that components have begun to fail. This may include the fan motor, ignition control, or a number of other components that must all be in top working order to be able to heat a large building. It could also indicate a ductwork issue.
  • High Utilities: Heating and air conditioning for a large property is generally somewhat costly. However, you should have a rough idea of what your heating bills usually look like, and be concerned when you exceed this number. High utilities may mean that your system is working harder than it should, due to anything from a bad motor to a faulty thermostat.
  • Unusual Noises: Your commercial heating system is likely located outside of the property, on the roof, or in an enclosed area, so it’s unlikely that you hear much noise at all throughout the day. Therefore, any loud noise probably indicates a serious issue, and you should have a specialist visit your building to check it out right away.

Commercial heating repair isn’t a job for just any technician. Commercial specialists know the ins and outs of larger systems, so you should always choose a technician experienced with this type of setup.

Does your business require heating repair? Call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning for quality commercial heating repair in Louisville.

Why Experience Matters with Furnace Installation

October 27th, 2014

Furnaces are efficient heating systems that work well in all climates, which is why many homeowners choose a furnace for new heating installation. Furnaces are reliable and sturdy, and won’t take too much of a toll on your heating bills—as long as they are properly maintained and installed. That’s why it’s important to choose a professional for furnace installation with the appropriate tools and training as well as years of experience in the HVAC industry.

When you need professionals with years of experience installing furnaces in Middletown, look to the highly trained heating experts at Accutemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

Why Choose Experienced Specialists for Installation

When you’re looking for a new heating system, friends and neighbors may recommend a few service technicians, which can be a valuable resource. But watch out for those who recommend their own friends and family members, as an amateur technician may not have the right skills to get the job done. There are many reasons that furnace installation is not a do-it-yourself project or a job for an untrained amateur technician.

  • Installation: Proper installation is key to a fully functioning furnace. Any loose screws or misaligned parts can spell trouble for your system, causing your unit to become overworked as it compensates for the damage. This raises your energy bills and may cause your unit to break down without warning.
  • Sizing: HVAC technicians are trained to use a set of complex calculations in order to determine what sized unit is right for your home. An undersized unit simply won’t get the job done, but it will work hard to try to reach the desired temperature, consuming energy and failing far sooner than it was meant to. An oversized unit will cost more to run and may short cycle, which can also affect your bills.
  • Inspection: Finally, you need a technician who will take the time to inspect your system for any leaks and cracks. Cracks in the heat exchanger can cause carbon monoxide to enter the air. Leaks in the gas line can cause serious health risks for your family member. A skilled technician will check for these problems and many others to make sure your new unit is in top condition before the installation is over.

For expert heating installation, call technicians with many years of experience installing furnaces in Middletown. Call Accutemp Heating and Air Conditioning today!

How Dust and Debris Lead to Heating Repair

October 20th, 2014

Dirt and dust are often culprits in many heating repair issues in Louisville. This is because dirt and dust coat components, creating a layer that can interfere with how a component works. If dirt and dust aren’t removed, they can affect how your system operates. Annual maintenance can help reduce problems of dirt and dust significantly, but if you are having issues with your heating system, it may be time to call for a trained technician from AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

Problems with Dirt and Dust

Here are some examples of how dirt and dust can affect specific parts of your heating system:

  • Pilot light – when dirt and dust get into the pilot light, the gas may not light. This can be dangerous, as the gas will be released as part of the ignition process but won’t light immediately.
  • Thermocouple – the thermocouple is a safety sensor that detects whether or not there is a flame and if conditions inside the pilot area are safe enough for combustion. This is important because the thermocouple will kill the ignition process if the gas doesn’t ignite; otherwise, gas would continue to flow, which can be a potentially dangerous situation. If there is a layer of dirt and dust on the thermocouple, this can interfere with its ability to sense the temperature.
  • Evaporator coil – the evaporator coil is a set of small tubes through which refrigerant flows; these are used in systems that provide both heating and cooling, like heat pumps. When the coil becomes covered in a layer of dirt and dust, this layer can affect how the refrigerant works as it flows through the tubes, which can affect your heating.
  • Issues with friction – there are a number of moving parts in your heating system that require lubrication in order to work properly. Dirt and dust create friction, and when they coat the components that need to move freely, such as ball bearings, the friction created by these particles can cause the parts to grind and possibly stop moving completely.

Maintenance Is the Key

As mentioned above, maintenance can help reduce and even eliminate some of the problems caused by excessive dirt and dust in your heating system. Why? During a maintenance appointment, your heating system is cleaned, lubricated and adjusted as needed, so dust and dirt are removed from your system.

If dust and dirt have caused problems to develop in your system, call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment for heating repair in Louisville.

Which Type of Filter Works Best for Air Filtration?

October 13th, 2014

Many homeowners keep their windows and doors closed throughout the day and night as they run their air conditioning and heating systems to achieve a desired temperature and humidity level. Unfortunately, this means that you are circulating the same stale, polluted air over and over, a cycle which could lead to irritation or worsen health problems in individuals with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues.

Yes, your HVAC system has a removable filter intended to keep some pollutants out of the air. But is this enough to provide fresh, clean air year round? Take a look at some of your other options below.

  • Mechanical Filter: A mechanical air filter is a filter that works with your HVAC system, using fibers to strain particles that are larger than 0.3 microns in size. Don’t just stick with your old model when replacing your filter every month; a HEPA filter is most effective at removing allergens, ridding your home of 99.7% of dust and pollutants. However, some gaseous pollutants may still pass through.
  • Standalone Units: Standalone air purifiers may be used even when your HVAC system is not in use. These can rid your home of mold spores, dust, dust mite feces, pollen, and pet dander, all of which can lead to respiratory issues.
  • Whole-House Air Purifiers: But perhaps the most effective solution is a whole-house air purification system that works with your HVAC unit. These systems use ionization or an electrostatic charge to catch most allergens and gaseous pollutants, including smoke, pesticides, carbon monoxide, and the residue from paint or some cleaning products.

Which Type of Filtration is Right for Me?

Whole-house air purification systems are the best way to target pollutants in all locations of the home and keep allergens from spreading. You may decide that this is the best way to ensure the air that blows into your home is pure, but a specialist should help you choose whether you need an electrostatic precipitator or an ion generator.

For the best filtration possible in your home, remember to change or clean your air filter every month.

Call the indoor air quality professionals at Accutemp Heating and Air Conditioning to decide whether you need a whole-home solution for air filtration in Prospect.

What Makes Geothermal One of the Most Efficient Heating Systems?

October 6th, 2014

Geothermal heating operates on the same principal as an air heat pump, moving heat from one place to another to increase energy efficiency. It does this by siphoning heat from underground to heat the house. Let’s start by taking a look at what makes up a geothermal heat pump.

Geothermal Parts

The main part of a geothermal unit is the pump itself. This pump is usually located in a basement or a garage, similar to any other heating system. The pump possesses both heating and cooling capabilities. It uses these to adjust the temperature of the subterranean thermal energy it collects before circulating it throughout the house using a duct system. Mechanically, the unit itself operates much the same way as any other heat pump. What makes a geothermal heat pump truly unique is its source of thermal energy.

Geothermal Installation

A geothermal system begins by digging a trench approximately ten feet down. This is the depth at which underground temperature is more or less constant. Trenches are usually dug in large rectangles, but if space is limited they can be dug vertically. Tubes are then installed in the trench. These tubes can carry either air or water as the medium for absorbing thermal energy. Then, the tubes are connected to the central unit and the trench is filled in.

Energy Efficiency

What makes geothermal heating one of the most efficient heating systems is the consistent, renewable subterranean thermal energy it utilizes. Once you get around ten feet underground, the temperature remains close to 54 degrees, regardless of season or weather conditions. When an air-based system attempts to heat a house, it has to pit itself against whatever the air temperature is currently. This could easily get into the single digits, depending on where you live. The colder the temperature, the longer it will take for the heating system to reach the target temperature. When a geothermal system heats a house, it only needs to heat the air from 54 degrees. This spares the geothermal unit from having to work as hard as other systems, making it more efficient.

If you are interested in upgrading to a geothermal heating system, call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ll cover the entire Crestwood area.

Heating Repair Question: Why Does My Furnace Run Constantly?

September 29th, 2014

When it’s freezing outside there is no better feeling than basking in the warmth of your heating system. It can get a bit disconcerting, however, when your furnace seems to work too hard or never turn off. This can cause your heating bill to go up unnecessarily and shorten the life of your furnace. If your furnace seems to be working harder than normal, read on to discover what might be the cause.

Thermostat Issues

The most common issue with furnaces running too often is the thermostat. Before you consider any more involved heating repair, check your thermostat display. Is the temperature set too high? Is the thermostat set to “fan”? If the display seems accurate but the furnace isn’t shutting off, it might be a problem with the thermostat rather than the furnace. Most modern thermostats are far more complicated than the older. It is therefore recommended that you have a professional determine the problem, rather than trying to fix it yourself.

Poor Insulation

Much of the heat loss from homes is due to small cracks in window and door frames. If your home is poorly insulated, you’ll lose heat faster and your furnace will have to work much harder to maintain temperature. This is difficult to diagnose on your own, as poor insulation often has multiple small factors spread around the house. If all your doors and windows are closed and your home still feels drafty, call a professional to examine your home for possible insulation issues.

Wrong Unit Size

If your furnace is a new installation, it is possible that the unit is too big or too small for your home. This can lead to the furnace to overwork itself while trying to match the capacity of a differently sized unit. If everything else seems to be fine but the furnace is still running too often, call a professional to evaluate whether your unit is the right fit for your home.

If you are having problems with your furnace, call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. Our heating repair experts operate throughout Jefferson County.