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Category: Ductwork

09 Feb 2017
Dirty AirDuct Vent

Ductwork Failure: Some Reasons Why Yours May Need Attention

Most homeowners are aware that heating and cooling the home is the most expensive portion of the utility bill, but not all are aware of the amount of control they have over that usage. To help make sure you’re getting the most for your money when it comes to energy consumption, it’s a good idea to take a look at your home’s ductwork.

When Should Your Ductwork Be Inspected?

If it’s been over a year, you’re behind schedule. Annual maintenance is critical to efficient circulation. A professional can perform inspections that you can’t do visually. They can find and fix any leaks in the ductwork and measure the airflow to make sure there are no obstructions. They’ll also check for dirt to ensure that the air circulating is clean for your health and your system.

Is Your Energy Use Increasing?

Most utility companies reflect a comparison between current and prior year for both energy use and energy cost. A cost increase may just be the product of rate increases. But an increase in energy use may indicate leaky ductwork. You’ll want to make sure those leaks are fixed so the conditioned air is delivered to the correct areas inside your home.

Are the Intake and Return Vents Clean and Unobstructed?

Dirty air filters are common issues, but so are problems with the registers in each of the rooms. If they’re closed or dirty, the system won’t work properly and some parts of the home won’t receive the conditioned air they need. Make sure registers are clear of debris and not blocked by furniture.

For more information about your home’s ductwork or if you have any other HVAC needs, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Fred’s Heating and Air. We’ve been making people more comfortable in the Omaha and Council Bluffs areas of Nebraska and Iowa for 25 years.

09 Feb 2017

Duct Sealing: Keep the Conditioned Air Flowing Year-Round

As an Omaha or Council Bluffs homeowner, you work hard to maintain and improve the quality of your home.

A part of such maintenance includes taking energy-saving precautions like buying the right air filters and installing efficient insulation. To keep the air you pay to cool or heat flowing efficiently, another important process to consider is duct sealing.

Your ductwork system is what delivers conditioned air throughout your home. Its segments are typically made of sheet metal or fiberglass, which is susceptible to cracks, leaks and disconnection. To ensure that your conditioned air is being properly delivered to your rooms, here are a few tips on effective duct sealing techniques.

  • Locate the leak – Check exposed ductwork for possible joint separation, holes, gaps or cracks that have formed where the tubing bends or is creased. If your HVAC system is operating, run your hand along the metal to feel for leaking air.
  • Seal the leaks – Once found, it’s necessary to stop the leaks. Despite its name, duct tape is not a sufficient duct sealing adhesive. However, you can properly seal gaps and holes with butyl tape, foil tape, mastic or other heat-resistant tapes.
  • Add insulation – Because ducts are generally built from thin metal sheets, wrapping insulation around the tubing can significantly help in preventing both conditioned air escaping and excess heat gain or loss.

The Benefits of Sealing

Duct sealing can help considerably in reducing overall household energy loss. In addition, it will reduce the possibility of carbon monoxide buildup, improve whole-house comfort and decrease pollutants that aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms.

While sealing exposed ductwork is possible for the handy homeowner, it’s advisable to hire a qualified professional to perform a whole-system repair if the cracked or disconnected ductwork is beneath the flooring, between levels or sealed within household walls.

For more information about duct sealing and other HVAC services and products, contact Fred’s Heating and Air. For over 25 years, our professionals have provided expert heating and air conditioning services to the Omaha and Council Bluffs areas.

09 Feb 2017
HVAC - Comfortable Home

Home Ventilating Systems: Know The Difference Between An ERV And An HRV?

If you’ve spent a lot of time and energy making sure your home is well insulated, you might think you can sit back and relax. Unfortunately, your work isn’t quite done. Every well-sealed home needs to be ventilated. Although exhaust fans, such as those you have in your bathroom and kitchen, are a necessity, it can pay to have a home ventilating system — either energy recovery ventilation or heat recovery ventilation. So what’s the difference between an ERV and an HRV?

An HRV exhausts stale air out of the house while drawing in fresh air. The heat from the warm air stream is recovered and added to the cool air stream. In the winter, that means the HRV recovers some of the heat that would have been sent outside. In the summer, the heat is added to the exhaust air.An ERV functions similarly to an HRV, but in addition, it permits some of the moisture in the more humid airstream to be added to the dryer air stream. In the winter, that means some of the moisture from the exhaust air is transferred to the incoming air. The process reverses in the summer.

You might wonder why you need a home ventilating system. Here are three ways ventilation can improve your home comfort.

  • It eliminates unpleasant odors.
  • It provides fresh air.
  • It helps to eliminate indoor-air pollutants.

So which kind of system is better for you? You might assume that homeowners in the Southeast would automatically opt for an ERV, because the extra moisture isn’t needed, and homeowners in Nebraska and Iowa would need an HRV, because using a furnace in the winter can dry out the air.

But this is where you professional HVAC contractor comes in. After assessing your home, he can recommend the specific system that’s right for your home. Much of that recommendation will rest on the humidity in your specific home, because levels vary from home to home, even in the same region. It will also depend on exactly how tight your home is.

As you can see, deciding between the two systems isn’t an easy job. The professionals at Fred’s Heating and Cooling can provide you with invaluable guidance. We serve homeowners in Omaha and Council Bluffs, and we’re experts when it comes to making homes in our area both comfortable and energy efficient.

09 Feb 2017

4 Duct-System Issues That Undermine Heating Efficiency

If you have forced-air heating and cooling, duct systems are used to distribute hot and cold air around your home. Ductwork is notorious for wasting large amounts of energy, which in turn increases your utility bills while detracting from home comfort. Here are four duct-system issues to watch out for.

  • Uninsulated ducts: In most cases, ductwork is made from thin metal, a highly conductive material that readily transfers heat. Heat loss through uninsulated ducts can be significant if the ductwork travels through unconditioned spaces such as the attic, garage, or a crawl space. In these areas, transferred heat is wasted.
  • Torn or disconnected ducts: Take a look at exposed ductwork to discover any holes that are large enough to see. If you can peer into an opening, you can be sure air is escaping through it. Flexible ducts can tear during or after installation, and entire sections of ducts can become disconnected over time because of forceful airflow. Whatever the cause of these duct-system issues, they should be addressed as soon as possible.
  • Blind-alley ducts: On occasion, ductwork is poorly designed to use the building structure to channel airflow. It’s rare, but sometimes blind-alley ducts occur, which is when a duct leads nowhere and leaves a register with no heat source. If there’s a register in your home that doesn’t seem to have any airflow, it’s worth exploring.
  • Inadequate return ducts: Leaky return ducts don’t supply the air necessary to keep a furnace or air conditioner running efficiently. Often in older homes, only one or two centrally located return registers exist. This is inefficient since ideally every room with a supply register should also have a return register for pressure equalization and consistent temperatures throughout the home.

All of these duct-system issues can be solved by a knowledgeable HVAC service technician. If you suspect your system is suffering from any of these problems, please contact us at Fred’s Heating and Air in Omaha today. Our experience dates back to 1987.

09 Feb 2017

Get In On The Benefits Duct Sealing Offers

Leaks in your ductwork can cost you — in terms of energy efficiency and air quality. Heated air that escapes through breaches doesn’t get to its intended destination, so you’re spending more to keep your home warm. Ductwork issues can also degrade your air. It’s smart to resolve those issues before Omaha temperatures really plunge. Get in now on the benefits that duct sealing offers.

Over time, a duct system that once served you well can develop problems. Joints can become loose, sections can get dented or torn. In a worst-case scenario, a whole section can become crushed or entirely dislodged. When any of these things happens, your heated air is getting lost. You might not notice the problem immediately. You might shrug and just turn up the thermostat. But in fact, this forces your furnace to work harder to keep up with the demand. Eventually, your system could break down or even fail prematurely. Inspecting your ductwork and fixing any issues has significant benefits in terms of savings.

  • You won’t be paying to heat air that never gets to the rooms where it’s supposed to go. In some homes, as much as 20 percent of all conditioned air is lost through ductwork breaches. Repairing those trouble spots could save you considerably.
  • When your ductwork is holding up its end, your furnace is doing only the work it was designed to do. This means it will serve you longer and better. You can do even more to ensure your furnace longevity by checking the filter frequently and changing it whenever it looks dirty.

Fixing those duct leaks will also keep your family more comfortable. It’s likely that you won’t be fighting over the thermostat anymore. Because all the heat will be going where it’s supposed to, some rooms won’t be too cold, while others are too hot.

Not only will your family members be more comfortable, they’ll probably breathe better. Why? Breaches in your duct system invite pollutants and fumes from unconditioned areas. Consider your basement, where much of your ductwork runs. It’s full of chemicals and other household products that give off fumes. The garage, where you store all your gasoline-fueled equipment, is another example. Just as important, duct leaks can cause dangerous backdrafting. Seal your ductwork and you will have none of these issues.

Don’t let dollars slip through the cracks of your Omaha home’s ductwork. Call Fred’s Heating and Air. We can answer your questions, and we would be happy to resolve any ductwork issues in your home.

09 Feb 2017

The Key Elements Of Efficient Ductwork Design

Winter is approaching fast, and most homeowners in Omaha and Council Bluffs are busy getting their homes ready for winter. For you, this may mean repairing your ductwork. A poorly designed or leaky duct system can significantly reduce the efficiency of a furnace. You might think you can do nothing about design flaws, but in fact you can take a systematic approach and correct some issues to boost overall performance of your duct system.


Key elements of efficient ductwork design

Duct systems should be as compact as possible, with short, straight runs. The idea is minimizing connections, along with twists and turns. Connections are common sources of air loss. Twists and turns, meanwhile, slow air delivery.

Duct location is another key element of ductwork design. Running a duct through an unconditioned attic or crawl space invites heat loss in the winter. In the summer, heat can radiate into the ducts, which are carrying cooled air.

Each room in your home should have a return-air register. For rooms that don’t, keep the doors open. As an alternative, talk with your HVAC contractor about having a through-the-wall fan installed. The fan will move air from the room without the return-air register to an adjacent room that does have one.

Key elements of ductwork maintenance

You can remedy some problems — or at least minimize them — with maintenance. Inspect your ductwork for leaks and other issues, such as crushed runs. Have your HVAC contractor replace damaged sections. He might also be able to redesign some of your system to eliminate bad turns. He might even find a blind run — a duct going to a room where a register was never installed. Believe it or not, that’s a construction error that can happen.

Seal all leaks, using mastic and mesh. Consider insulating your ductwork, as well, especially the runs that travel through an attic or crawl space.Your HVAC contractor can be invaluable here, as he can get at hard-to-reach ducts.

With an optimally performing duct system, you should see your heating bills go down. Have more questions about duct efficiency? Contact Fred’s Heating and Air. We serve homeowners in Omaha and Council Bluffs and would love to use our 25 years of experience to make your home more comfortable than you could every imagine.