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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Duct Cleaning Scams

We’ve all seen the coupons and advertisements promoting “whole neighborhood air duct cleaning for $49.95,” and heard the horror stories from consumers who got taken by these companies. Now the national media is taking notice.

NADCA worked with Dateline NBC over the past six months to expose a scam operation and the company’s unethical business practices. Tune in to NBC this Sunday, January 9 at 7 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) for a special two-hour Dateline as reporter Chris Hansen exposes these frauds and helps educate the general public about the HVAC cleaning industry. (Please note that the segment on air duct cleaning will be at the end of the second hour.)

NADCA president Buck Sheppard served as the industry expert and will be featured in this report. This Dateline episode will show “hidden camera” scenes uncovering instances of brazen scam artists preying on uninformed consumers.

It is NADCA’s hope that after this episode airs, consumers will be better informed about how to spot these scams.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Duct Cleaning Required

I don't normally like to sell our duct cleaning services, "with a policeman's hat on", but sometimes it is unavoidalbe. Especially in a highly regulated area like industrial occupational hygiene.

Here's an example of what I call "selling with a truncheon in your hand"

But the points are well made. Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV, provided typically in the industrial workplace to remove hazardous airborne contaminants ranging from sawdust, through to gases and fumes) extract ductwork can get dangerously dirty. They fall, in the UK, under the Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, and regular functional testing should be carried out to prove that they continue to provide the 'control measure', i.e. reliably pull out the contaminant. Similar Regulations whereby effective control measures should be in place for control of workplace contaminants exist in most countries.

Often the engineer responsible for the systems wants to clean the LEV system, because he knows that's the right thing to do, but he needs 'The Law' to convince his superiors that something should be done.

Of course LEV sytems should be designed so that the contaminant stays airborne and does not settle out on the duct surfaces..but it doesn't always work out like that. Not by a long chalk!

You can see deposits build up which will impede airflow (and so stop the system properly pulling workplace contaminants away from the worker's breathing zone). Often enough air velocity can be slowed down by a gradual accumulation of dusts, or by a larger item like a paper wrapper, piece of packaging, beer can (no really! where's a better place to hide the evidence of illicit drinking?), which then allows finer dirt to build up.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Top Class Air Duct Cleaning Presents Coil Cleaning:

Top Class Air Duct Cleaning Presents Coil Cleaning:

* Home
* About Duct Cleaning
* Special: $99 Duct Cleaning

Evaporator Coil Cleaning
Evaporator Coil Cleaning (A-Coil Cleaning)

An evaporator coil, also known as an a-coil, is an integral part of your cooling systems that is often neglected while you are cleaning the system. Commonly it is thought that if the filters are clean there is no need to check the coil. It is a wrong perception that may be a root cause of many problems your system may have to face if you neglect the issue of evaporator coil cleaning. Even if the filters are clean the evaporator coil can still be dirty and be polluting the air you breathe.

A dirty a-coil can be root cause of many problems; here are four main reasons for which you should consider cleaning evaporator coil on regular basis:

1. Increased Efficiency: With a dirty evaporator coil efficiency of the system declines and you feel it is not cooling same way as before.
2. Shorter Run-times: It takes more than usual to start.
3. Low Electricity Bills: Longer runtimes and burden on the system caused it to consume more electricity which is the reason for huge electricity bills. A clean evaporator coil may save you up to 15% of energy your cooling system consumes with dirty coil.
4. Good Air Quality: If the evaporator coil is dirty and air flow is reduced it causes same air to circulate in the house again and again with many pollutants putting your health at stake. Air indoors is polluted with many visible and invisible pollutants including dust, dirt mites, pollens, pet dander, molds, bacteria and viruses. While air is circulated the evaporator coil accumulates these particles as the coil fins are densely located.

Dirt and debris on the evaporation coil hinder the air flow thus blocking it and causing your heating and cooling system to work much harder. A reduced air flow means cooling capacity of the system has decreased which causes extra burden on the system. The system starts consuming huge energy to cool the room or building posing a burden on your pocket. If you still neglect the situation it causes the air to cool to such a low temperature that it condenses over the coil and leads to what is known as evaporation coil frost thereby completely blocking the coil.


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Usually your air conditioning system gives clear indications when the evaporation coil is dirty. Following is the checklist that clearly states that now is the time to clean the evaporation coil:

* Efficiency of the system is decreased
* Less air is coming out of vents
* Head and suction pressure rises
* Electricity bill increases with same usage of cooling system

The issue of evaporator coil cleaning is of great importance when you are having pets at home or living in an area where construction is taking place. An annual evaporation coil cleaning can keep you and your family safe!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How Humid Climates Affect Indoor Air Quality and Comfort

Regional climate plays a large role in Indoor Air Quality and comfort. Regional climate characteristics are determined by geographic location and long term weather conditions. Two of the most important factors that affect an areas climate are temperature and precipitation.
What makes Humid Climates Uncomfortable?

Humid climates have a high amount of water vapor in the air. When it’s hot, high humidity makes people feel hotter because it reduces the ability to evaporate moisture from the skin. In humid climates, becoming comfortable means going into a conditioned space.
Potential for Mold Growth

While mold spores are in every region and every climate, mold growth is highly dependent on the amount of humidity. Mold growth typically occurs when an environment reaches a relative humidity of 60 percent or greater in a 72 hour span. If mold is found within your home or workplace remediate the problem immediately, mold spores can be distributed throughout the home or building through the HVAC system impacting indoor air quality.
Air Conditioning in Humid Climates

Air conditioning coils serve a very important role in regulating temperature and humidity in humid climates. As air passes through the evaporative coil of the air conditioner, heat and moisture are removed from the air. To a degree, the lower the humidity level, the more comfortable you will feel at a given temperature.
Air Duct Cleaning and HVAC Maintenance

Overtime foreign debris is drawn into the evaporative coils and fan blower of the air conditioning system, gradually decreasing air flow and energy efficiency. Maintaining HVAC system, will keep your cooling and heating components operation at peak energy efficiency, and prevent potential indoor air quality problems. Yearly air conditioner inspections and routine air duct cleaning with assure maximum efficiency.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What Does the EPA say about Indoor Air Quality?

What Does the EPA say about Indoor Air Quality?

The US Environmental Protection Agency states that poor indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental threats to our country. So why does the EPA feel so strongly about indoor air in homes and workplaces? Well, according to the EPA, indoor air is on average a staggering three to five times more contaminated than outdoor air and in some instances as high as seventy times.
So why is indoor air so much worse in our home than outdoor air?

The answer is in modern day construction practices. Homes are being built more air tight in an effort to be more energy efficient and environmentally conscious. Older homes are being re-insulated and getting air tight window upgrades. The result is less drafty homes that no longer have natural ventilation to bring in fresh air.

Normal everyday living provides an ongoing source of airborne contaminants like dust, dander, chemicals and other allergens. These pollutants become trapped in your home due to this poor ventilation and then are re-circulated by your heating and cooling system.
So what does this mean for you?

The average American family now spends ninety percent of their time indoors. That means that the bulk of our days is spent breathing in these irritants and pollutants and the health effects are significant. Dust, pollen, household chemicals and smoke can create an unhealthy situation in your home for everyone, but especially for people with compromised respiratory systems such as children, the elderly, and people with asthma and allergy sufferers.
So what can you as a homeowner do to improve your air quality?

Today doctors agree that one of the healthiest things to do is to minimize your exposure to these indoor pollutants, allergens and irritants in your home. One of the most logical places to address indoor pollutants is in your heating and cooling system. Think of this system as the lungs of your home. It takes in air and breathes it out; it circulates all the air and everything in the air throughout your home. In fact, on average all the air in your home passes through your heating and cooling system five to seven times each day.

Begin by making sure that you regularly change furnace filter. While these filters do not eliminate airborne contaminants they can help reduce pollutants from entering your furnace and circulating through the house. Most experts recommend replacing your filter every two months.

Another important step to take to improve the quality of the air in your home, and one that many overlook is having your heating and cooling system thoroughly cleaned. As polluted air is re-circulated through your heating and cooling system dust, dirt, and contaminants are deposited throughout the system overtime. These subtle particles are then picked up by the airstream and are then pushed back out into the living areas of the house to be breathed in by family members. In a large number of homes the heating and cooling system has never been cleaned. Even in newer homes or homes undergoing renovation contaminants such as sawdust and drywall dust left over from construction process are deposited in your ducts.

So how clean is the heating and cooling system in your home? Here is a quick way to check. Remove a vent cover and use a mirror and flashlight to look inside. Or use a small digital camera to take a picture of the inside of your duct. If your ducts are dirty it is time to have your air ducts cleaned.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Solar Heating Boilers are getting popular.

Hot water heated by the sun is used in many ways. While perhaps best known in a residential setting to provide hot domestic water, solar hot water also has industrial applications, e.g. to generate electricity [1]. Designs suitable for hot climates can be much simpler and cheaper, and can be considered an appropriate technology for these places. The global solar thermal market is dominated by China, Europe, Japan and India.
A solar hot water heater installed on a house in Belgium

In order to heat water using solar energy, a collector, often fastened to a roof or a wall facing the sun, heats working fluid that is either pumped (active system) or driven by natural convection (passive system) through it. The collector could be made of a simple glass topped insulated box with a flat solar absorber made of sheet metal attached to copper pipes and painted black, or a set of metal tubes surrounded by an evacuated (near vacuum) glass cylinder. In industrial cases a parabolic mirror can concentrate sunlight on the tube. Heat is stored in a hot water storage tank. The volume of this tank needs to be larger with solar heating systems in order to allow for bad weather, and because the optimum final temperature for the solar collector is lower than a typical immersion or combustion heater. The heat transfer fluid (HTF) for the absorber may be the hot water from the tank, but more commonly (at least in active systems) is a separate loop of fluid containing anti-freeze and a corrosion inhibitor which delivers heat to the tank through a heat exchanger (commonly a coil of copper tubing within the tank). Another lower-maintenance concept is the 'drain-back': no anti-freeze is required; instead all the piping is sloped to cause water to drain back to the tank. The tank is not pressurized and is open to atmospheric pressure. As soon as the pump shuts off, flow reverses and the pipes are empty before freezing could occur.

Residential solar thermal installations fall into two groups: passive (sometimes called "compact") and active (sometimes called "pumped") systems. Both typically include an auxiliary energy source (electric heating element or connection to a gas or fuel oil central heating system) that is activated when the water in the tank falls below a minimum temperature setting such as 55°C. Hence, hot water is always available. The combination of solar water heating and using the back-up heat from a wood stove chimney to heat water[2] can enable a hot water system to work all year round in cooler climates, without the supplemental heat requirement of a solar water heating system being met with fossil fuels or electricity.

When a solar water heating and hot-water central heating system are used in conjunction, solar heat will either be concentrated in a pre-heating tank that feeds into the tank heated by the central heating, or the solar heat exchanger will replace the lower heating element and the upper element will remain in place to provide for any heating that solar cannot provide. However, the primary need for central heating is at night and in winter when solar gain is lower. Therefore, solar water heating for washing and bathing is often a better application than central heating because supply and demand are better matched.In many climates, a solar hot water system can provide up to 85% of domestic hot water energy. This can include domestic non-electric concentrating solar thermal systems. In many northern European countries, combined hot water and space heating systems .




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