Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Is an Electronic Air Cleaner Right For You?
clear

listen, Podcast, electronic air filter, electronic air cleanerNashville is known for its great music, hot chicken, and unfortunately, its sometimes poor air quality… largely due to ozone, pollens and particulates. Things linger in our air because middle TN sits in a "bowl" surrounded by mountain ridges and vegetation the natural wonders that give this area its beauty.  People who are allergy-sensitive know all too well that springtime is approaching!  Of course, you should be changing your air filters on a regular basis at least every 3 months. But, did you know there is more you can do to help the air quality in your home?  Consider installing a whole-house electronic air cleaner.

Honeywell Electrostatic Air Cleaner

What is an Electronic Air Cleaner?

Electronic Air Cleaner DiagramThis is a device that attaches directly into the HVAC ductwork feeding your whole house. As the name implies, this is an electronic filter not just some folded mesh encased in a cardboard frame like a typical air filter. It works by placing a negative electric charge on airborne particles and a positive electric charge on the media and, because opposites attract, it collects airborne particles like a magnet. To give you some perspective, typical air filters remove particles down to about 750-1000 microns in size, or about the size of the eye of a sewing needle. But, an electronic air cleaner can remove particles less than 10 microns in size a size so small it would require an electron microscope to see!  Particles of this small size stay suspended in air easily and account for 99% of the total number of particles in unfiltered air.

Low Maintenance

Cleaning the Electronic Air FilterBesides dramatically increasing your air quality, electronic air cleaners are low maintenance and economical. They can be easily removed from the ductwork, washed in your dishwasher or sink, drip dried, and re-installed. They do not have to be replaced every 3 months like typical air filters. Some systems offer an integrated LCD display or fault light to remind you when the filter needs cleaning. Runtime on these filters is not based on calendar days, but on the length of time your HVAC system runs. It is recommended that you leave your HVAC system's fan set to "on" rather than "auto" for maximum air cleaning benefit. Most electronic air cleaners come with a 10-year warranty and use about as much electricity as a 40-watt light bulb.  

Often Confused with Electrostatic Filters

Do not confuse electronic air cleaners with electrostatic air filters! Electrostatic filters have a charge applied to them at the factory which is supposed to last the life of the filter, but their efficiency is poor at best and degrades over time. Electronic air filters are made using either precipitator or polarized media technologies, both of which require a power supply. Electronic air cleaners have a continuous charge applied making them very efficient dust magnets!

Other Benefits

Electrostatic Air Cleaner DuctworkIn a previous post, we talked about duct cleaning. But, if you have an electronic air filter and well-sealed ducts, you should never need your ducts cleaned, as particles won't ever get the chance to deposit themselves in the ducts or build up over time. Additionally, your HVAC system's blower, air conditioning coils, and heat exchanger will be protected from particles and so will last longer and be more efficient. In fact, one electronic air cleaner manufacturer guarantees that if your indoor coil requires cleaning within 10 years of  installing their electronic air cleaner, they will pay to have it cleaned!

 

Don't Forget This

Whether you have a whole-house electronic air filter or not, you still need to change your air filters in your return air vents every three months!

 

clear
Posted on 03/15/2016 7:55 AM by Eddie Hutton
clear
Tuesday, 1 March 2016
Making Sense of Duct Cleaning
clear

Depending who you ask, folks will either tell you that cleaning your ducts is a must or it's just a waste of money.  Who can you believe?  We're here to help you make sense of this difficult question. First, let's clarify what we mean when we say ducts.  In one of our earlier posts, we talked about the duct opening, called the register or vent.  We described how you can clean these yourself, by taking off the vent cover and using a small vacuum or cloth. But when we refer to duct cleaning, we're talking about the many yards of conduit or enclosed raceways that go between your HVAC system the heating and cooling source and the various room destinations the vent outlet.  Ducts are often hidden within walls, in attic or basement spaces, or in a crawl space. Duct cleaning requires specialized equipment and must be done by a professional… it is not a DIY project.

A Scam?

Duct cleaning is never recommended as routine periodic maintenance. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA), there is no scientific evidence that regular residential air duct cleaning improves air quality.  Checking and changing your system's filters on a regular basis, keeping your system well maintained, having regular inspections, and ensuring moisture doesn't get in are some of the most important things you can do to maintain good air quality and keep your ducts clean. 

A Symptom, Not the Problem

Dirty ducts are often merely a symptom and not the cause of the problem; thus, cleaning them does not eliminate the problem.  If you have mold, you have a moisture issue that needs to be addressed.  If you're not getting good air flow, there are many possible reasons, each of which should be explored.  Don't get talked into getting your ducts cleaned as a treatment for or prevention of allergies. Getting a good filter one that traps allergens - and changing it often is a simpler and more cost-effective solution. 

Benefits vs Risks

Just like when treating a medical condition, you must make sure the benefits are worth the risks.  Duct cleaning is a fragile operation, and can kick up particles or even cause your ducts to break. Duct cleaning services can run $600 a bit more or less, depending on the size of your house - and can take 3 hours or more.  Because ducts typically have bends, tape and screws, there are many places for dirt to get trapped and hide.  The only way to thoroughly clean ducts is to remove them and and clean the individual pieces. In that case, you may be better off just replacing the ducts. Eddie Hutton is one of our owners. Click video to see and hear how he sums it up.

If you're still on the fence about duct cleaning and live in the Nashville area, call and we'll be happy to come out and do an assessment.

**Interstate AC Service does not provide duct cleaning services.

clear
Posted on 03/01/2016 6:17 AM by Eddie Hutton
clear

Important Tips & Advice

 

 

You often don't think about your heating or air-conditioning system until something goes wrong. But there is so much you can do to help keep your system from breaking down. We regularly post information to help you learn what you can do to keep your system running, to save money and energy.  Search our many posts, videos, and podcasts, for valuable information that is never a sales pitch. Subscribe to receive an email when something new is posted, so you won’t miss any important tips.

Choosing a Repair Company

Whether you’re talking about heating or cooling, repairing or replacing a system, you want a company that can advise you reliably based on what is in your best interest, not based on what is convenient or what earns them the most money (commissions). We'll help you choose the best solution to fit your needs. Check out our many posts at HVAC News You Can Use and our podcasts.

Going Green

We're concerned about the environment and know all the latest technologies - such as geothermal systems, LED lights, and smart thermostats - that can reduce energy and put more "green" in your pocket!  We've provided HVAC systems in certified LEED buildings and written many posts on ways to Go Green.

The Sign of Service

We are a repair company performing a full range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, energy management and comfort products service, maintenance, and installation. We are a locally-owned company serving Nashville-Davidson County and the surrounding counties including Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, and Cheatham.

Who We Are

Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced.  We can tackle the most complicated system to the simplest of systems – from large commercial plants to single-family homes.  Our ownership group of Eddie Hutton, Tony Anderson, Roger Eldridge,  Swaney Powers and Alan Seilbeck have over 125 years combined experience as leaders in the HVAC industry.

Dispatch

We are proud of our dispatchers that respond to your telephone call. When your system is down they make things happen. Our trucks are loaded with most parts needed for a quick repair. You can call day and night 7 days a week. Our normal weekday hours are 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Click on the button below to schedule a service call online. Emails and forms can only be answered weekdays from 7-5.”  

615-832-8500 Online Service Call

Maintenance

Did you know you should service your HVAC on a regular schedule – just like you would your car?  We have specialized maintenance programs to ensure the clean, energy efficient and safe operation of your HVAC systems.  This helps minimize service interruptions/breakdowns and maximize your equipment's lifespan.  All maintenance contract customers are assigned a primary technician that will get to know your facility and equipment and will treat it like his own.  You’ll receive discounts on repairs or new installations, and get priority service when it is cold or hot outside and you need service promptly.  Plus, maintenance contract customers are never charged overtime rates for emergency services after-hours, weekends or holidays. We’ll teach you how to save on maintenance costs by showing you things you can do yourself and when you need a technician. Here are some good posts:  Repair vs. Replace, Things to Try Before Calling for Service, Springtime Tips that Pay Off.

Commercial

Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies:

Replacement of a 250-ton Cooling Tower

Ductless HVAC at Brentwood Middle School