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Silicon carbide igniters, commonly known as hot surface igniters, are an electrical component that is used in most new gas furnaces. Hot surface igniters are much like the filament of a light bulb, each time the furnace turns on, an electric charge is sent to the hot surface igniter reaching a searing temperature of roughly 2156OF-2426OF to ignite the gas burners of your furnace.
Life Expectancy of a Hot Surface Igniter
Under normal operating conditions, a hot surface igniter will last 3-5 years. During the heating season, the hot surface igniter can go through a tremendous amount of use. Furnaces cycle throughout a day to bring the home to the desired temperature set by your thermostat, hot surface igniters are energized through each furnace cycle. Most high efficient furnaces will cycle 3 times per hour whereas lower efficient furnaces can cycle as many as 6+ times per hour. In a year your hot surface igniter could be energized as over 20,000 times! Over time, through continued use, the filament of the hot surface igniter becomes brittle, and eventually breaks usually when you need it most.
Keep an Extra Hot Surface Igniter On Hand
Much better to have a hot surface igniter and not need one, than to need a hot surface igniter and not have one. There are numerous brands and models of furnaces, technology is changing every day. If you have an older furnace, it may take a while for a furnace contractor to locate a hot surface igniter specific to your furnace. Purchase an extra hot surface igniter for your specific brand and model of furnace to store at home it’s a great insurance policy for a time of need.
Maintain Your Furnace, Filter and Air Ducts
While there is a standard life expectancy of a hot surface igniter, routinely maintaining your furnace through an HVAC company, changing your furnace filters, and keeping your air ducts clean will extend the life of your hot surface igniter as well as other furnace components.
We heat and cool our home to keep our family comfortable, with some homes, maintaining a consistent temperature within each room of the home can prove to be difficult. Some home airflow problems are easy to remedy, others require a more comprehensive approach. Solving home airflow problems can provide many benefits for indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and home comfort. Below are seven common problems and solutions to improving your homes airflow.
Leaky Air Ducts
Repairing leaky air ducts is the single best thing a homeowner can do to solve airflow problems within a home. When constructed, air ducts are sleeved and screwed into one another to deliver and draw air throughout the home. In most ventilation systems, the joined sections are not air tight allowing for conditioned air to escape or be drawn from unintended areas. Seal the joints of your air ducts with an approved mastic or sealant and you will realize a noticeable and immediate improvement to your homes airflow problems.
Distance from the Furnace and Air Conditioner
As the furnace or air conditioning system is in operation, it blows and draws air through a series of air ducts to condition each space of the home. While there is a strong force of air pressure as the air is blown from the furnace or air conditioner, the strength of the airflow dissipates as it reaches the outer extremities of the ventilation system. More often than not this airflow problem relates to poor design in the architecture of the home or poor installation practices of the HVAC system. In some occasions, modifications can be made to the ventilation system to provide a greater volume of air with less restriction. In most cases the most efficient and cost effective solution is to install zones within the ventilation system which are dampers that regulate air flow.
Lack of Return Air
Proper airflow within a home is always related to the circulation of air flow. Your home relies on supply air vents which blow conditioned air into the home, and return air vents which draw the air back to the furnace or air conditioner. A lack of return air vents decreases the circulation of airflow within a home, adding additional return vents in areas with limited airflow will improve a homes air circulation.
Dirty Fan Blower
Within the furnace or air conditioner cabinet there is a fan-blower which distributes the air. Overtime dust and debris builds on the fan blower blades reducing its ability to sheer and distribute the air. By routinely cleaning the furnace on an annual basis you can improve your homes airflow.
Clogged Air Conditioner Coil
If you have air conditioning, located above your furnace cabinet is an evaporative coil which is made up of tiny fins that absorb heat and cool the air. Overtime dust and debris builds up within the coil fins reducing the amount of airflow that the furnace can distribute. By routinely cleaning the evaporative coils on an annual basis you can improve your homes airflow.
Improperly Sized Heating and Cooling Equipment
Prior to installation, a HVAC load calculation is performed to determine the amount of heating and cooling BTU’s are required to effectively condition the temperature of the home. If the HVAC system is under-sized or over-sized it will create home airflow problems. An experienced HVAC technician can provide an HVAC load calculation to make sure that the HVAC is sized properly for the home.
Disconnected & Crushed Air Ducts
If there is no airflow or very limited airflow it may be related to a disconnected or crushed air duct. Disconnected or crushed air ducts occur from faulty installation. Remove the air vent register and inspect the ventilation line with a flashlight and mirror. If the ventilation line is disconnected and is within an area that can be reached, refasten the ducting together with sheetmetal screws and seal the joint. If the ducting is crushed, remove the crushed ducting piece and replace it. There are occasions where the duct disconnection cannot be seen, in this scenario you will need the ventilation line to be scoped with a fiber-optic camera to determine the location of the disconnection and the best options to gain access for its repair.
It all started with a contest: The rules were pretty simple: Tell us what your asking for this holiday season, and why… for a chance to have your wish granted.
One listener… Stacy, asks for a gift of getting her Grandmas house carpets replaced. Willie B DJ of KBPI publicized her selfless request, and calls poured in from contractors of numerous trades transforming the request of carpet replacement to a full blown home makeover.
Ductworks met Brett, owner of CQL 2000 a General Contractor who donated his services. At the time of our arrival there were already over twenty trades at the home. We performed the walk through, to discuss the various projects that desperately needed to be completed. We began with a general meeting, discussing the various projects that would take place, and the high level of coordination it would take for numerous trades working within a confined space.
There was a catch… All of the work to be performed was a surprise to the Grandmother. The grandchildren told the Grandmother that they were going to have the carpets replaced as a Christmas gift, and asked that she stay in a hotel as the work was being performed. All of the work needed to be complete within 4 days!
Within minutes the meeting ended, and all of the contractors formed various bucket lines within the home to remove the homes contents to make space for the various projects that would be undertaken. Within an hour the garage door, furnace and air conditioner were replaced. Ductworks will provided the air duct cleaning at the end of the project once the dust settles.
Willie B of KBPI brought a community of good natured contractors to really show what this holiday is about.
If you could wish for anything you wanted on your wish list this holiday season what would it be?
Customers thought they were getting fresh air when they hired Seabreeze Air, Quality Air and Fresh Air.
“Well, it starts out as a classic bait and switch,” Suthers said.
Suthers says the companies advertised duct cleaning for $35 and then charged up to $1,000. He says customers weren’t the only ones they lied to.
“They told both the court and ourselves in a previous proceeding that they were going out of business, but in fact they simply changed their name and went back into business,” Suthers said.
“Unfortunately within our industry it’s not the exception, it’s the norm where you have folks that are taking advantage of folks,” Ductworks General Manager Eddie Frisk said.
Frisk has been in business 23 years and cleans more than 4,000 homes a year. This year he says the floods have meant more business and more unscrupulous companies than ever.
“I get the same coupons that everybody else gets. You can’t get your ventilation system cleaned for $35,” Frisk said.
Frisk says here’s what people need to know: duct cleaning costs more than $350, not $35. It takes five to eight hours, not two to three. And any reputable company should be certified through the National Air Duct Cleaning Association.
“It the age-old adage, if it’s too good to be true, it typically is,” Frisk said.
The attorney general and Better Business Bureau received more than 230 complaints about the companies that lead to the investigation. Suthers got a temporary restraining order to shut the companies down until they go to court in a couple weeks.
CBS. (2013, November 25). State Shuts Down Several Air Duct Cleaning Companies For Scamming. Retrieved from http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/11/25/state-shuts-down-several-air-duct-cleaning-companies-for-scamming/
While Ductworks Inc., participates in numerous charity events, none of them are quite like Polar Bear Plunge. The Polar Bear Plunge took place at Boulder Reservoir on February 9th, 2013.
The motto of the event was “Freezin’ for a Reason”, more than 300 people plunged into the icy cold 37 degree water to raise money for the Colorado Special Olympics. At the time of the plunge, participants had raised near $57,000, to benefit more than 12,000 Special Olympic athletes across Colorado.
Dressed as cupid, Eric Frisk, one of Ductworks, Inc. esteemed foreman, courageosly dove into the frigid water of the Boulder Reservoir.
The Polar Plunge is truly a community effort and one of the most rewarding experiences of the year. It’s an opportunity that brings us together as one larger community to celebrate the generosity of so many people who live in our wonderful state.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning a home or small commercial building is a big job that requires a lot of energy. In fact, this activity accounts for 30 percent of the energy used in an average home or small building. In addition, heating and cooling larger buildings is an even tougher job and accounts for up to half of the energy use in such buildings. On the whole, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are by far the largest sources of energy use within a home or building. Ironically, heating and cooling systems tend to be poorly maintained. These systems, which are used every day of the year, get dirty and can become heavily contaminated with dirt, dust, animal dander, and more. Further, heating and cooling systems in new homes and buildings are often heavily fouled – even before occupants move in. Contaminated heating and cooling systems can be problematic for occupants. These systems contribute to poor indoor air quality in the form of increased airborne particulate and reduced thermal comfort. Fouled systems are also prone to failure. And from a cost perspective, these systems also use more energy than clean systems.
The Importance of Air Flow
When it comes to having a productive, energy-efficient heating and cooling system, air flow is everything. Increased air flow equates to better performance. But when systems become fouled, air flow is reduced. Dirty filters, clogged coils, fouled blowers and other components – all of these things impede air flow and lead to increased energy costs. The solution is to have the heating and air conditioning system professionally cleaned. You may be familiar with the term air duct cleaning, but this is actually a bit of a misnomer. Professional cleaning for a heating and air conditioning system entails cleaning not only the ductwork, but also the vents, registers, blower, coils, and other components – the surfaces that are exposed to the air flow within the system. Complete cleaning of the heating and air conditioning system is a highly specialized cleaning service that differs from the routine maintenance provided by the technician sent out to clean and adjust the furnace. Complete cleaning of the heating and air conditioning system is an important aspect of keeping the system operating at peak efficiency.
The NADCA Energy Savings Research Project
So how much does it cost to operate a fouled heating and cooling system? That is the question asked by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), a not-for-profit trade association representing companies around the world that inspect, clean and restore heating and air conditioning systems. In 2008 NADCA initiated a project with researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) to conduct an in-depth study of this issue. The University has extensive research experience and is home to the Larson Building Systems Laboratory, one of the world’s most technologically advanced facilities for researching heating and cooling systems. The purpose of the NADCA research study was to correlate the substantial energy savings that can be attained through complete cleaning of fouled heating and cooling systems.
Researchers started this project by scouring the Internet and other sources to find literature produced through similar research. Using available literature, researchers developed a computer model designed to quantify the energy savings that could be attained through cleaning heating and cooling systems. From there the researchers conducted a laboratory analysis – they experimented on a house that is contained completely within the Larson Lab – as part of an effort to fine-tune and confirm the computer model. Finally, researchers conducted two field trials to assess the accuracy of the computer model. Through this process, researchers came to realize that there was no comprehensive data available to quantify the savings that can be achieved through cleaning of heavily-fouled systems – the types of systems regularly encountered by NADCA members. (For purposes of this research, “Heavily-fouled” systems are defined as systems where complete cleaning results in a pressure change of at least 30 percent. Pressure change is simply an easier way to measure air flow.) Because of the data limitations, the calculations in the computer model were based on data collected from lightly-fouled systems – systems that are not very dirty.
According to the results of the study, cleaning even lightly-fouled systems can produce substantial energy savings. These findings are based on complete cleaning of heating and air conditioning systems in accordance with NADCA’s ACR 2006 Standard, which includes cleaning ductwork, coils, blower, other air-side system components, and changing the filter. Based on the initial research, cleaning a lightly-fouled system provides, on average, an 11 percent savings off of the energy used for heating and air conditioning.
Cleaning heavily-fouled systems is expected to produce an even greater savings than cleaning systems that are essentially clean. Given the critical importance of air flow, this could be construed as common sense. However, in order to confirm this expectation, NADCA has initiated a broader research effort to quantify the energy savings that can be achieved by complete cleaning of heavily-fouled heating and cooling systems. This research involves collecting data on systems before and after cleaning, and using this data to calculate energy savings.
It takes a lot of energy to heat and cool a home or building and in fact, the systems used for this purpose account for the majority of energy use. These systems – even in new buildings – tend to be dirty, and become more heavily fouled through everyday use. Fouled heating and cooling systems can also be problematic for occupants, contributing to poor indoor air quality, system failure and increased energy use. Researchers have proven that cleaning even lightly-fouled heating and cooling systems can result in energy savings of 11 percent. In addition to these savings, consumers who have their heating and cooling system cleaned can benefit from improved indoor air quality, reduced maintenance costs and extended life expectancy for the heating and cooling system. While not yet confirmed, cleaning heavily-fouled systems is expected to produce even greater energy savings.
Ductworks is contributing time and resources to help the non-profit organization There With Care. When critically ill children are returning home from the hospital and need a clean home environment, Ductworks will provide expert air duct cleaning services for the house. Eddy Frisk, General Manager of Ductworks stated, “Parents are already stressed with caring for their sick children. We take some of the burden off by making sure the air quality in their homes is improved before bringing their child home from the hospital. It’s a great way for us to give back to the community by providing the family with what we do best…being air duct cleaning experts.
There with Care began in 2005 serving families with critically ill children at two hospitals in Denver. They now serve families from 12 referring medical institutions, including The Children’s Hospital, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL and others. They help families cope with life threatening medical conditions, providing a range of practical services. For more information, go to www.therewithcare.org.
Ductworks, Inc. “Your Air Duct Cleaning Expert” is an Arvada-based company founded in 1990 to improve indoor air quality for homes and businesses. Their patented system of scraping and vacuuming is the most effective process for air duct cleaning. They have more technicians certified by the NADCA than any company in Colorado and provide customers with before and after photos to insure top quality performance. They also have more 5-star customer reviews than any other Colorado HVAC service company. For more information on Ductworks, go to www.ductworks.com.
The Experience Pros will feature locally-owned Ductworks on their program this Friday, February 24th at 10 a.m. The segment will air on KLZ, The Source AM560. The feature is due to fan-based appreciation for the great job Ductworks does in their profession. With the proliferation of Internet-based social media sites, such as Faceboook and Yelp, consumers have taken the lead on recommending companies with excellent customer service to their families and friends.
Experience Pros Radio Show hosted by the popular duo, Eric Reamer and Angel Tuccy, features positive business talk on the radio. Along with their collection of guest hosts, the show is dedicated to providing inspiration along with useful business topics that range from increasing revenue, using social media, motivating your employees and improving customer service.
Ductworks, Inc. “Your Air Duct Cleaning Expert” is a Denver-based company founded in 1990 to improve indoor air quality for homes and businesses. Their patented system of scraping and vacuuming is the most effective process for air duct cleaning. They have more technicians certified by the NADCA than any company in Colorado and provide customers with before and after photos to insure top quality performance. They also have more 5-star customer reviews than any other Colorado HVAC service company. For more information on Ductworks, go to www.ductworks.com.
National Jewish Health and Ductworks, Inc. are collaborating for the second year during National Asthma and Allergy Month, (May) to provide a comprehensive approach for people with allergies and asthma to help them learn if the environment in their homes is contributing to their illness. National Jewish has developed a diagnostic kit to assess the allergen levels in indoor environments.
National Jewish Health and Ductworks are working together on marketing and distribution of the Family Air Care® Indoor Allergens and Mold Test Kit. The kit, developed and serviced by National Jewish Health in Denver, determines levels of common indoor allergens and mold from dust samples taken inside a home, apartment or other building. The kit is now available through Ductworks for $299.
Once the diagnostic assessment of the home is complete, users can go to the Family Air Care® Website to learn how to lower allergen levels in their homes.
“The Family Air Care® kit is the only commercially available indoor-air testing kit that lets customers compare their results with samples from homes around the nation, and offers specific advice about how to interpret the results and what to do after receiving them,” said David Tinkelman, MD, Vice President of Health Initiatives at National Jewish Health.
To use the Family Air Care® Indoor Allergens and Mold Test Kit, consumers simply attach a small capture device to their vacuum-cleaner hose, briefly run the vacuum cleaner in their homes, then mail the collection device to National Jewish Health in a pre-paid envelope provided with the kit. Test results are reported in a secure e-mail. The kits can be ordered online at www.Ductworks.com.
“The Family Air Care® assessment benefits all households, but is especially important to the 70 percent of households where a person with allergies and/or asthma lives,” said Dr. Tinkelman. “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that people with allergies and/or asthma reduce levels of allergens and irritants in their homes to improve their health.”
National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. Since 1998, U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish the #1 respiratory hospital in the nation. Further information can be found by visiting www.nationaljewish.org.
Ductworks, Inc. “Your Air Duct Cleaning Expert” is a Denver-based company founded in 1990 to improve indoor air quality for homes and businesses. Their patented system of scraping and vacuuming is the most effective process for air duct cleaning. They have more technicians certified by the NADCA than any company in Colorado and provide customers with before and after photos to insure top quality performance. For more information on Ductworks and the Family Air Care Kit, go to www.ductworks.com.
Most air handler units have fiberglass insulation installed on the interior surfaces to provide thermal insulation, absorb sound, and help to provide the quiet operation of the HVAC system. As a whole, if properly maintained, air handler insulation has a long-term life expectancy.
In certain instances, the integrity of the fiberglass insulation will degrade and delaminate from the highly varied ranges of temperature, humidity and air turbulence. If the air handler insulation is left unrepaired, raw fiberglass fibers and insulation will enter the air handler components and airstream.
Each time a commercial HVAC system is maintained, the condition of the fiberglass insulation should be evaluated. If the exposed fiberglass fibers are exposed to the airstream, it is best to remove and replace the air handler insulation, or resurface the damaged insulation with an approved HVAC encapsulate.
When fiber glass insulation is initially installed, the exposed face of the fiberglass insulation has a primary seal that locks down the raw fiberglass fibers. If the primary seal of the air handler unit insulation has begun to delaminate, the most cost effective repair is to encapsulate
Coatings and insulation repair products are designed to repair damaged or degraded HVAC surfaces. Air handler Insulation repair coatings can range from coatings which lock down the fiberglass fibers to fiberglass coatings that have antimicrobial properties.
Surface treatments for air handler insulation repair must be labeled for the specific use in HVAC&R systems in or on any surfaces that are part of HVAC&R systems, and must be applied to a clean surface.
Air Handler Insulation Replacement
If the air handler insulation requires replacement, it is best to replace the fiberglass insulation with closed cell foam insulation. Closed cell foam insulation offers many benefits over fiberglass insulation; its finish is smooth and more durable than fiberglass insulation, and resists dirt and moisture accumulation.