Why Duct Tape Isn’t Suitable for Duct Repair

March 28th, 2014

The name “duct tape” is an unfortunate one, since it causes people to mistake the true purpose of this gray cloth-backed tape. Although people use duct tape effectively for many purposes, one thing it should never be used for is actually repairing ducts. We’ll go into where this confusion comes from and show you the best way to repair ducts.

Actually, we’ll start with the duct repair technique, since it’s simple: just call a company that does professional duct sealing and repair in Jeffersonville, KY and have them come to your home and use mastic sealing and or metallic tape to make sure you have airtight ducts. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning has the right team ready to work on your ductwork repair needs.

So, How Did This Duct Tape Confusion Come About?

It’s difficult to pinpoint. Duct tape was originally known as cloth-backed rubber adhesive tape that started to see use in the early 20th century. During World War II, a new version was manufactured for use sealing ammo boxes. It became known as “duck tape” (yes, like the water bird) because the cloth used was duck cloth. Or because it was water resistant, like a duck’s feathers. Or because of the amphibious military vehicle DUKW. Nobody knows for certain.

It was the Melvin A. Anderson Company, which acquired the rights to the tape in 1950, that first promoted it for household repairs, especially duct sealing. At this point, “duck” switched to “duct”… and people have misused the tape ever since.

Buy Why is Duct Tape So Wrong for Ducts?

The main reason that duct tape is the wrong material to seal up leaks in ductwork is that the material does not hold up to high temperatures. Laboratory tests found that only one duct tape product out of 19 survived more than three months of an aging test on ductwork with standard heat conducted through it, and 11 failed within days. The heat degrades the glue on the tape, causing it to rapidly lose its adhesive properties. According to a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where the tests were conducted: “Of all the things we tested, only duct tape failed. It failed reliably and often quite catastrophically.”

You Shouldn’t Try to Repair Your Ducts on your own, anyway

Aside from the failure of duct tape as a way of sealing breaks in ducts, duct repair simply isn’t a DIY job. Keeping your ventilation intact and free from air pressure leaks is too important for the health of your HVAC system and your indoor air. Contact AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule professional duct repair in Jeffersonville, KY, and leave the duct tape for sealing that box of holiday ornaments you plan to stow in the attic. Professional duct cleaning is also available for homes that need their air ducts cleaned. Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment.

What Kinds of Problems Does Duct Cleaning Address?

March 21st, 2014

The ductwork of your home is an ideal place for dust to gather over time. Because ducts are sealed along their length to preserve air pressure from the heater and air conditioner, dust and debris that enter through the return vents do not have any place to escape…except through the vents and into the air in your home. Different kinds of contaminants can develop in the ducts that will cause worse problems, such as microbacteria and pollen.

To keep your ducts clean, you should schedule professional duct cleaning services. (The job requires special tools and training, so you can’t do it on your own.) We recommend you have duct cleaning in Jeffersontown, KY every one or two years, depending on your ventilation system’s condition to help improve your indoor air quality. Call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning and speak to one of our duct cleaning specialists to set up an appointment.

Here Are Problems That Duct Cleaning Will Help Alleviate:

  • Health problems from low quality indoor air: Having dust, dirt, and even less desirable particles circulated through your air will have a negative effect on the health of everyone in your house, especially those with allergies. Symptoms of low quality air include coughing, breathing trouble, irritated eyes and nose, nausea, and difficulty sleeping. If you notice an increase in allergy-like symptoms in your home, you may need duct cleaning to address the problem.
  • Inefficient and expensive heating and cooling system performance: Ductwork clogged with dirt will create additional resistance against the air sent through the channels to the vents. The resistance will force a heater or air conditioner to strain, and in turn it will cost more to run and provide less effective comfort. The contamination can also lead to debris entering the HVAC system’s cabinet and damaging components.
  • Dusty home: If you’ve noticed that every time you sweep and dust, the dust seems to return the next day, then you may have highly polluted ductwork that’s continually sending dust around your home. A cleaner ductwork system will mean a cleaner house.

Professionals Know How to Clean Up Those Ducts

When you call for experienced duct cleaning in Jeffersontown, KY, you’ll have technicians armed with high-power vacuums and special agitation equipment come to your home to give the ventilation system a thorough scrubbing to remove almost all its contaminants. The cleaners will also spot other trouble areas, such as leaks, that will need sealing and repairs.

For excellent duct cleaning services, look to AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. We can help you find other ways to improve your air quality with UV germicidal lights, filters, and dehumidifiers. Give us a call today to schedule your next ductwork service in Jeffersontown, KY.

Schedule a Heating Maintenance Session in Louisville

March 12th, 2014

Summer is approaching, and the heaters in our homes will soon slip into their quiet vacation mode. You’ve probably already turned your air conditioning on a few times, and your heater is on your mind less. This is the ideal time to schedule maintenance with a professional heating service in Louisville, KY.

Usually, heating contractors recommend that homeowners have heating maintenance scheduled in the fall so they are prepared for the cold weather. However, feel free to schedule maintenance any time of the year, especially if you’ve put it off during the last year. If you have a heating maintenance session in spring, you can also arrange to have your AC inspected and tuned-up during the same visit.

If you want to take care of your heater during this slower time of the year, contact AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning and arrange an appointment to check-up and adjust your heater so it’s ready for anything.

Here’s What a Heating Maintenance Session Can Do For You

Regular maintenance will give your heater a longer life because it reduces the amount of repairs the system will need and keeps it operating with the least amount of stress possible. Tests have shown that heaters without maintenance rarely make it to half their expected lifespan, while heaters with diligent yearly maintenance often endure a few years beyond that milestone.

A well-maintained heater also saves money. An inefficient system without cleaning, adjustments, and that operates with malfunctions will drain power because it needs to work harder. On average, an unmaintained system will draw 30% more energy—and that’s just the beginning.

When a maintenance technician comes to your house for an annual visit, he or she will follow a checklist of components to look over and tests to make. This will differ depending on the kind of heater you have. Gas furnaces will receive combustion checks, inspection of the gas line for leaks, cleaning along the burner, and necessary tune-ups applied to engines. Heat pumps will receive electrical testing and checks on air flow and their refrigerant level. Both units use air handlers, and these will also receive checks to make sure they are operating at maximum power and efficiency. The technician will locate any component that needs repairs and schedule the work so your heater will return to its regular effectiveness.

It’s Never Too Late For Maintenance

If a few years have passed since you scheduled maintenance for your heating in Louisville, KY, don’t worry: it’s never too late for a professional to attend to your furnace or heat pump’s aging components and help your receive the most from it. Give us a call today and arrange for your spring maintenance session.

How Heating Maintenance Can Prevent Heating Repair

March 7th, 2014

Any mechanical device that runs often and provides an important service in your life will need to have occasional maintenance to make sure that it will keep running. Cars are usually the machine we think of first when it comes to maintenance. However, the heating system in your home needs maintenance just as much as your car—sometimes more. Think about how often you run your heater during a typical winter, and additionally during the fall and the occasional cold days in the spring. All that work adds up…and without regular maintenance, it can lead to malfunctions and eventual breakdowns at the worst times possible.

Here is how signing up for maintenance can prevent heating repair in Middletown, KY. To get started with maintenance, contact AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning today.

Maintenance Catches Repairs Before They’re Repairs

The technicians who perform inspections on your furnace or heat pump during a maintenance visit are trained to notice places where the heater might start to incur damage that will turn into a repair need. For example, cracks in the fan belt of a blower motor, corrosion starting across a furnace’s heat exchanger, or loose components that might tear off. Sometimes the technician can quickly solve these problems; other times, he or she will schedule a repair visit before the problem becomes more expensive—or causes a complete breakdown.

Maintenance Reduces Wear and Tear

As your heater runs, it will start to age. Without routine maintenance to make necessary replacements and adjustments, the stress from regular operation will cause deterioration leading to motors burning out, compressors and capacitors failing, and air handlers breaking. Maintenance also takes care of cleaning the unit to remove dust, dirt, and other grime that can begin to accumulate inside the furnace or heat pump cabinet. A contamination of debris can lead to numerous malfunctions, such as burners failing to ignite and damage to motor bearings. The dirtier the heater, the more stress it will undergo, leading to many repair needs.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

You should sign up for two maintenance inspections and tune-ups a year: one for your heater and one for your air conditioner. Make sure that you find a professional and experienced heating and cooling contractor to do this work; a sloppy maintenance job isn’t much better than no maintenance job.

AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning has an excellent team of specialists who can take care of your needs for maintenance to help prevent additional and unnecessary heating repair in Middletown, KY. Contact us today and schedule your next heating system service in Middleton.

Why Are Geothermal Systems So Cost-Effective

February 28th, 2014

If you have investigated the possibility of installing a geothermal heating and cooling system in your home, you have probably already discovered how much money a properly installed one can save you each year. According to various studies, installing a ground-source heat pump can provide savings of up to 80% over existing heating and cooling systems.

We’ll explain in this post how ground-source heat pumps—heat pumps that use geothermal energy as their medium of exchange rather than the air—can run so cost-effectively. If you’re interested in installing a geothermal system in Middletown, KY, call the experts at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment.

Why Geothermal Heat Pumps Will Save You Money:

  • Temperature consistency: The temperature of the earth ten feet below the surface remains at a constant temperature, regardless of the temperature on the surface. Where an air-source heat pump can have difficulty with climate extremes, a ground source heat pump will always have a steady source for heat exchange. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a geothermal heat pump on the coldest winter night is twice as efficient as an air-source heat pump.
  • Extended lifespan: Geothermal systems have an estimated lifespan of 25+ years for the inside components and 50+ years for the ground loops, longer than almost any other heating or cooling system. This means years and years of additional savings beyond the payback period.
  • They’re heat pumps: Finally, we should add that heat pumps in general are money-savers, ground-source or air-source, when compared to furnaces and boilers. Because heat pumps only need a small amount of electricity to move heat, instead of burning fuel to create it, they can save you up to 30% on your heating bills if you switch from another system.

Find Out if Geothermal is Right For You

There are two cautions regarding ground-source heat pumps: initial installation can be expensive, and they will not work for all properties. The enormous energy savings from geothermal means they will pay back their installation costs after 5–10 years, but you should check with professional installers to see if a system in your area will actually do the job you need it to. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning specializes in providing geothermal system services in Middletown, KY.

Why Does Frost Form on a Heat Pump?

February 19th, 2014

The appearance of ice across the coils of a heat pump, either in the indoor or outdoor unit, is a common problem that repair technicians often face. The reason this happens can be confusing to people unfamiliar with how heat pumps operate, but we will give a simple explanation in this post to help you understand why this is a serious problem that requires professional repairs.

AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning repairs and maintains all types of heat pumps in Clarksville, IN. We have a “Fixed Right or It’s FREE!”™ promise and a Straight Forward Pricing Guide™ to put you at ease. We are confident in our ability to get your heat pump free of ice and working for you again.

The Reasons for Icing Along Heat Pump Coils

Depending on the mode your heat pump is in, icing will appear on the outdoor or the indoor coils. In air conditioning mode, you’ll notice ice on the indoor unit; in heating mode, it will appear on the outdoor unit. Basically, whichever coil is working as the evaporator is the one that can start to ice up.

What is occurring here is the coil losing its ability to effectively absorb heat. During evaporation, the coil absorbs heat, raising the temperature of the refrigerant inside the coil, which then moves to the other coil to release the heat through condensation. If the coil absorbs less heat, the low temperature of the refrigerant will turn the moisture on the coil to ice. When this happens, the coil will have an even harder time absorbing heat, creating more ice. This can eventually lead to a solid block of ice across the coil and complete failure of the heat exchange cycle: the heat pump will, at best, deliver lukewarm air whatever mode it’s in.

There are two primary causes for the loss of absorption. The first is dirt along the coil. A technician will need to detach the coil and clean it. The second is a drop in refrigerant because of a leak. Refrigerant does not get used up during normal operation, but a leak in the line or the compressors can lower its charge. The less refrigerant, the less heat absorption—but there’s still enough to ice up the coils. A technician must find and seal the leak, and then recharge the refrigerant.

Call for Repairs

People sometime ignore icing along the coils in cooling mode (“I’m supposed to get cool air, why not a little ice?”) and don’t see it during heating mode because they don’t inspect the outdoor unit. But this problem needs immediate remedy. If you see ice on the indoor coil, or detect a drop in temperature during heating mode, call for repairs right away. Give AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning a call today. We have trained technicians ready to restore your heat pump or provide you with any other heating services in Clarksville.

Other Anniversaries of Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2014

For more than a hundred years, people in countries around the world have marked the 14th day of February as a time for lovers to give each other gifts and for children to write cards to each other and eat heart-shaped candy. But Valentine’s Day isn’t the only important event to occur on February 14th. There are many other anniversaries to mark on this day. Here are a few:

1400 – The death of King Richard II: The same English king whose engagement resulted in the first love poem mentioning Valentine’s Day (from court poet Geoffrey Chaucer) dies in prison in Pontefract Castle after his cousin Henry overthrows him. He probably starved to death, although another famous author, William Shakespeare, would portray his death as murder.

1859 – Hello, Oregon: The Oregon Country is admitted to the United States of America as the 33rd state.

1876 – Who invented the telephone? Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for his new invention, the telephone. Another inventor, Elisha Gray, applies the same day for a similar device, sparking a long controversy over who invented what first.

1912 – Hello, Arizona: Continuing the statehood tradition that Oregon established, the Territory of Arizona is admitted to the U.S. as the 48th state. Women are granted the right to vote in Arizona the same year, eight years before the rest of the nation.

1929 – The world’s most infamous mob hit: Unknown assailants shoot down seven people in Chicago, IL. Six of the dead are gangsters in the mob of Bugs Moran, an enemy of Al Capone in the business of selling Prohibition bootleg liquor. No one is ever arrested or charged for the crime—but there isn’t much doubt who masterminded it.

1931 – “I am… Dracula”: The most influential vampire movie ever made, and the start of Universal Studio’s famous monsters series, Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, premieres in theaters. Universal cannily uses Valentine’s Day to promote the film as “The Story of the Strangest Passion the World Has Ever Known!”

1961 – The Periodic Table becomes larger: The 103rd chemical element, Lawrencium, is discovered at the University of California. The name comes from the laboratory where it is synthesized, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

2005 – Now it’s easy to watch funny animal videos: A group of college students launch a video sharing website call YouTube.

Even if Valentine’s Day itself isn’t a major holiday for you, February 14th has many reasons to celebrate—unless you are a member of Bugs Moran’s gang or a supporter of Richard II. All of us at AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning would like to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, however you observe it.

What to Expect with Duct Cleaning Services

February 7th, 2014

The ductwork for your forced-air HVAC system (furnace, AC, heat pump) needs to remain as clean as possible in order for the system to work at its most efficient. Cleaner ductwork also assists with reducing the level of pollutants in your indoor air, contributing to better health and a decrease in allergy and flu-like symptoms. For most ductwork, you should schedule a cleaning once a year in to achieve optimal HVAC performance and indoor air quality.

Professional cleaners must perform this task, because it requires special training and equipment. We’ll look at what you can expect from technicians during duct cleaning. You’ll receive all this work and more for your Middletown, KY duct cleaning service when you call on the services of AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning.

  • Rotary brushing: A basic step of duct cleaning is using motorized rotary brushes on long lines to reach inside the ductwork. The brushes loosen dust, dirt, and other contamination from the interior lining of the duct without causing damage.
  • Power vacuuming: This is the most important step in cleaning ducts. The technicians will go to the key access points along your ducts and use power vacuums on long hoses to enter the ductwork and suction up contamination (the rotary brushes loosened many of these particles to make it easier for the vacuum). The vacuums can also put the entire duct system under negative pressure to cause dirt and dust to float away from the interior lining, making it easier to remove.
  • Recommendations for indoor air quality: During duct cleaning, your technicians will get a sense of what kind of contamination is affecting your ventilation system. If they notice particular problems that special precautions and upgrades can address, they will make recommendations for installation and further services. If your ducts have developed mold or other microbacteria, the technicians may suggest you have UV germicidal lights put in. They may also recommend special filters, or humidifiers/dehumidifiers. Duct cleaning is about more than immediate problems; it will help you address future ones as well.

At AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning, we are not only concerned with cleaning your ducts, we are concerned with your indoor air quality. That’s why, in addition to our Middletown, KY duct cleaning services, we also offer other options for superior indoor air quality. Call our duct cleaning technicians today to schedule a cleaning and talk about other ways to bolster your home’s air quality.

3 Reasons for the Loss of Gas Flow in Your Furnace

January 31st, 2014

Gas-powered furnaces remain the most popular type of furnace for home heating because of their effectiveness and reliability; you can beat any level of cold in Kentucky with a gas furnace at your service.

However, a gas furnace is only as good as the gas flow its burners receive. A loss of gas flow means a loss of your heating. When this happens, don’t attempt to figure out the problem for yourself. Any repairs that are connected to a main gas line require the work of trained, licensed professionals to perform. Do not risk serious injury with amateur repairs. When you need help with your furnace in the Highlands, KY, call AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning. We promise to fix it right… or it’s free.

Reasons you have a loss of gas flow to your furnace

  1. Bad gas valve: The gas valve controls the flow of the gas to your furnace; this is where the gas can be locally shut off when a technician must perform repairs. A bad gas valve can cause the gas line to be blocked, in which case it will need to be replaced.
  2. Tripped ECO (energy cut-off) device: This is a safety mechanism that will shut off your furnace should the temperature in the combustion chamber become too high. Although you can re-set the ECO on your own, you should have a technician look at the furnace to discover why it has started to overheat to the point that this safety device activated.
  3. Broken gas line: This is the most serious problem, since it will result in carbon monoxide entering your home. It’s difficult to detect CO on your own because it is odorless and colorless. You should have CO detectors in your home to warn you of this problem. It’s safest to shut off the gas entirely when your furnace stops working as a precaution—but you still need to call for professionals as soon as possible.

Sometimes, failure of the pilot light or the burners to come on is due to other malfunctions, such as a bad thermocouple or corrosion along the burner unit. A heating technician will be able to determine what has caused the malfunction and provide the necessary repairs.

Please resist “do-it-yourself” impulses, if you have them. Natural gas isn’t something to toy with. At the first sign of a loss of gas flow, shut off the gas completely and call a heating contractor. Contact AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning when you need repairs for your furnace in The Highlands, KY.

3 Steps to Help Ensure the Best Heating Installation Possible

January 24th, 2014

Heating installation is a large task, and when the time comes for you to replace your system, or to install the first heater in a new home, you need to take special precautions to ensure that everything goes without hiccups. Most importantly: you need to make sure that you have the right heater for your home before it gets installed. It’s an unpleasant surprise to discover after the fact that your heater cannot deliver the performance you need.

Here are the crucial steps for ensuring the installation of your heating in Middletown, KY goes well. AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning has the experience necessary to help you with each of these steps.

  1. Properly size the system: No, “the bigger the better” does not work here. A heating system that is too large for a house will begin to short-cycle, turning off prematurely and wasting energy while wearing the system down faster. A heating system that’s too small will not be able to provide sufficient warmth. Properly sizing a heater requires knowing the heat load your house requires; to find this out, hire professional installers to perform a heat load calculation.
  2. Let professionals install the system: Hiring an unlicensed or untrained contractor can lead to disastrous situations. Heaters put in with amateur work rarely function properly, efficiently, or safely. The safety issues aren’t limited to gas-powered heaters, either: improper wiring on electrical heaters can lead to fire hazards. This is too complex and too important a job to be given to anyone but licensed professionals. You’ll save money in the long run with fewer repairs and a heating system with a long life.
  3. Select a system that works with your available energy: A common mistake homeowners make when picking a heater for new installation is to go with a system because it has “the best features!” or “top heating efficiency rating!” or “the lowest price!” but they don’t take into account the energy supply available to their house. For example, if your home has a natural gas line, then deciding to go with an electric heater because it has the lowest installation price can end up costing you a large amount of money in the future because electric prices tend to be higher than gas prices. So while it will cost less install, it will give you higher utility bills which might eat up the initial savings. Be sure to talk to your contractor about what you are looking for in a heating system, and they can help you choose one that fits your home’s needs.

You should have heating professionals help you along the way. Trained HVAC installers know how to select and size a system. When it comes time to install it, they can make sure your system is installed quickly and properly. For this level of quality work on your heating in Middletown, KY, look to AccuTemp Heating and Air Conditioning.