Maintaining Efficient Ducts

ducts

The US Department of Energy estimates that the typical duct system of a house will lose anywhere from 25 to 40% of either heating or cooling energy. Those statistics are more than just sobering. Many Phoenix, Arizona homeowners will invest a great deal of money in energy-efficient HVAC systems, but if the duct system is not working properly, any savings brought on by the energy efficiency is negated.

Suspect Areas

The energy loss primarily comes from leaks in the duct system. Small perforations or openings can cause warm or cool air to escape from the ducts. The leaks are in effect heating or cooling the atmosphere, and this also means that the central furnace has to expend even more energy to keep rooms at the desired temperature. The areas where there is potential for such problems include the attic or crawlspaces. The ducts ought to be inspected in those locations and the right type of sealant must be used to seal up any openings. Once that is done the ducts should be wrapped in sturdy insulation to prevent excess heat in the summer or winter cold.

Possible Health Hazard

While the level of risk may not be life-threatening, leaky ducts present an opportunity for lower pressure within the system and that can pull gases from the furnace. This includes carbon monoxide, which could circulate in the atmospheric especially around the furnace. There’s also the chance of radon gas leaking into the atmosphere through defective ducts. These possible health hazards are enough to warrant the ducts be inspected in an annual checkup.

If the owner does not feel confident inspecting the ducts or if he or she does not have the proper equipment, Air Care Phoenix HVAC contractor can provide the service necessary. These companies have trained technicians who inspect the ductwork thoroughly and will do maintenance. Investments in energy-efficient HVAC equipment is a good idea but the proper conditions for less use of energy need to be maintained. Routine checkups on the duct system will prevent leaks from creating higher utility bills.

Contact our office a certified technician will be available 480-238-2273.

 

Understanding the Terminology

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HVAC equipment has its own terminology which sometimes confuses a consumer. Anyone looking to buy air-conditioning units Phoenix or heat pumps gets a little confused and don’t always understand the importance of certain acronyms. Knowing what the special terms mean can help in making a buying decision.

SEER, EER and HSPF

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is used to measure the efficiency of an air conditioner unit. It is the measure of the cooling output that happens during a cooling season and is divided by the total electrical energy output of the same time. In the United States that would be the ratio of the British thermal unit (BTU) to the watt hours of energy which are consumed. Plainly spoken, this ratio gives a picture of the amount of energy required to create a certain level of cooling output. The lowest SEER permitted commercially is 13, and the higher the rating will mean the more efficient energy-wise the air-conditioning unit happens to be.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is the ratio of BTU to watt hours of energy consumed. Like the SEER, the efficiency of an air conditioner is greater if the rating is higher. The standard for air conditioner units sold United States is a range of 8.0-9.8 or more.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the energy efficiency over one heating season of heat pumps. It is the ratio of BTU to watt hours during the given period. The industry standard is that heat pumps must have a rating of no less than 6.8.

ENERGY STAR Standards

The efficiency of an ENERGY STAR product can be better understood given these industry standards mentioned above.

For an air source heat pump to be used for a split system, ENERGY STAR requires the following: SEER, no less than 14.5; EER, no less than12; HSPF, no less than 8.2 ratings.

Central air conditioners to be used for split systems: SEER, no less than14.5; EER, no less than a 12 rating.

Single package equipment have slightly less rating requirements, but it is obvious that ENERGY STAR insists on a higher than normal ratings as far as efficiency is concerned. This means that while the product may be a bit more expensive, the energy efficiency is at the top end of the spectrum.