Wednesday, 31 October 2018
Reflecting & Radiating Heat - Alternatives to Zoning (Part 2)
This is part 2 of our 3-part series on alternatives to Zoning. Zoning refers to creating separate thermostatically-controlled areas within your home to help even out the hot and cold spots. But, before doing an expensive retro fit or buying a new multi-zoned system, try some of these things to address and possibly alleviate uneven temperatures in your home! In this episode, we’ll focus on how Reflecting and Radiating Heat may help… and best thing is these are do-it-yourself-type projects!
Insulate the Attic
Beefing up the insulation in the attic – not just around the ducts but all around the floor of the attic - is the one thing you can do that will help the most with both heating and cooling. Plus, you’ll save money on your overall heating and cooling costs year-round.
Adding insulation to your garage, particularly to the garage doors, will prevent heat from outside radiating inside in summer, and will prevent heat loss in winter. Not only will it make your garage a more comfortable space, but it will help your HVAC work a little less hard to keep the adjoining rooms at your desired temperature.
Do you have windows in your garage door or attic? What about in that one room that always seems to be too hot in the summer and too cool in the winter? Try Iining the insides of the windows with a UV-reflective window film, which can block 99% of the sun’s UV rays while also reducing heat loss in winter by 30%. Many types and colors are available, and some are transparent and easily removable.
Consider adding a radiant barrier in the attic to reflect some heat away. A radiant barrier is a highly reflective material that reflects heat rather than absorbing it. Attics with R-19 or better insulation and a radiant barrier – such as foil-laminated OSB panels or thin sheets of aluminum - may reduce an attic’s temperature by up to 30°F.
A cooler attic or garage means less heat moving into your living space! This increases the efficiency of your ductwork, prolongs the life of your HVAC, and saves on your energy bills.
While we can’t help you with many of these DIY projects, we can help make sure your heating and cooling units are maintained in top shape for peak efficiency, and help you find the best solution for addressing your uneven heating and cooling problems. If you live in the Nashville or surrounding area, call on Interstate AC Service at 615-832-8500. We’re here for all your heating and cooling needs.
Posted on 10/31/2018 4:26 PM by Tony Anderson
Monday, 15 October 2018
Sealing & Insulating Ducts - Alternative to Zoning (Part 1)
In a previous post, we talked about zoning: creating separate thermostatically-controlled areas within your home to help even out the hot and cold spots. Although zoning can save you up to 30% in energy costs, it is not without cost itself. Suppose you don’t want the expense of replacing your current system with a new multi-zoned HVAC unit, or re-working your current ductwork layout to accommodate a retrofit. Never fear! There are lots of things you can do to address and possibly alleviate the uneven temperatures in your home. In this post (the first of a 3-part series), we'll focus on how sealing and insulating ducts may help.
Step 1: Seal the ducts
Ductwork is used to distribute the heated or cooled air throughout your home. In a typical home, 20-30% of the air in the ductwork is lost due to leaks, holes, and poor insulation. The result is difficulty keeping the house comfortable no matter how the thermostat is set. Check the ducts in your attic, crawl space, and basement, and look for holes or gaps, areas where the ductwork has been crushed or kinked, or has become disconnected. Repair and seal the holes using mastic sealant or metal-backed (foil) tape – NOT the typical grey fabric duct tape! Contrary to its name, “duct tape” is not the best solution for sealing ducts. Cloth-backed utility tapes are not recommended because they will fall off easily, degrade with extreme heating and cooling, and do not reflect heat. Look for aluminum-backed tape with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo. Duct mastic is the preferred material for sealing ductwork seams and joints, especially irregular or jagged edges.
Step 2: Seal Registers & Vents
Check all the air register vents in each room, and the return air grill, to ensure there is a tight seal between the duct opening and the grill, that there are no tears in the ductwork from debris falling inside the register, and that the duct has not torn away from the opening.
Step 3: Insulate the ducts
Insulate the ducts, especially in the attic where the temperatures soar in the summer, and in the crawl space and basement where the temperatures are coldest in the winter. Wrap all ducts with foil-faced fiberglass insulation having an R-6 value or greater and seal the joints with foil-faced duct tape.
Prefer a hands-off approach to your ductwork? If you live in the Nashville and surrounding area, call on Interstate AC Service at 615-832-8500 to help with ductwork repair, or whatever heating and cooling issues you may have. We’re here for you!
Posted on 10/15/2018 7:41 AM by Tony Anderson
Wednesday, 3 October 2018
Resist That Urge!
One thing I’ve noticed living in Middle Tennessee is that our springs and falls seem to be getting shorter. It seems every year we go right from air-conditioning weather into heating weather (and vice versa!) in the blink of an eye. It is easy to become complacent and “forget” to have your HVAC system’s regular maintenance until it’s too late. After all, when it’s still in the 80’s and 90% humidity, you’re not thinking about how your heat will perform! But here’s why you should resist that urge, and get your regular HVAC maintenance now:
- Prevention: When the cold weather hits, and you find you have a heating problem, you may be waiting longer for service… and have to endure more cold temps…because that’s when everyone else’s system is acting up, too. Get a jump on it now, before the cold hits, and prevent outages – and inconveniences later!
- Safety: If a light bulb is going to go out, it will often do so just as you turn it on. Your heat might be the same, and you could have a situation that is preventable. Damaged, broken or poorly vented heating equipment can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or other safety hazards. Find out now before you first turn on your heat for the season!
- Value: Financial analysts and home professionals agree, getting your HVAC inspected at least annually is among the best values for the money. Not only will you be able to head-off large repair bills down the road, but your system will run more efficiently, saving you money every single day it’s in use! According to Fox News Network, it’s not only about safety, but catching a problem before it happens, because if your heat goes out on a Sunday evening, you’ll wind up paying more in emergency/after-hours rates. Angie’s List encourages you to think of your HVAC unit as an investment that you want to last as long as it can… the real value comes from not having to replace your HVAC system prematurely due to lack of proper maintenance.
- Warranty: The warranty on your heating and cooling system often contains language saying that unless it is serviced by a qualified professional, you could void the warranty.
Want to know what’s involved in a fall maintenance check? Check out our video and our Fall Maintenance Handbook (free download).
Call on Interstate AC Service (615) 832-8500 to schedule your fall inspection today. When the cold finally sets it… and you know it eventually will… you’ll be so glad you did!
Posted on 10/03/2018 1:00 PM by Tony Anderson