If you are embarking on a home improvement project, such as painting a room, doing drywall repairs, or sanding/refinishing wood floors, steps must be taken to protect the ductwork from paint, sand/dust, flumes, tools, and damage. Remove the vent registers prior to beginning work. Then, cover the duct completely with a barrier material that can be taped all around (see photo). A large plastic garbage bag also works very nicely. If there is danger of someone walking or positioning a ladder or tools near a duct that is covered in this fashion and thus falling in and damaging the duct put the vent grille back on top of the register. If you have the high-end designer vents (brass, etc.), consider getting a couple of the cheap vent grilles to use temporarily during your home improvement project, so your "good" vent grilles won't inadvertently be damaged. The last thing you want is someone putting a foot through the duct or tools falling in and tearing a hole in the duct!
Why it's so important
Tears in the ductwork or any holes require immediate attention. They will cause your HVAC system not to function properly, and your system will not cool or heat very well. The conditioned air (the air you paid to heat and cool) will be leaking out and mixing with unconditioned air, which is then blown back through your house. Not only is there a lot of lost energy - costing you extra money but your HVAC system will be over-worked and wear out quicker. You may also develop a pest problem from crawling insects, rodents, or reptiles which can come through the holes in the ducts into your home. Over time, you may also develop an odor and moisture problem. If you are experiencing any of these issues, a hole in your ductwork may be your culprit!
If you are building a new home or an addition, make sure the contractor seals all the ductwork before the drywall is installed. It is almost impossible to clean drywall dust out of ducts, so the best solution is to keep them protected from sources like this from the outset. For more information on duct cleaning, see our earlier post.
Tim Thomas, VP Sales & Marketing, Culer, explains how a new space cooler works and saves energy.
One of the oldest ways of conditioning air is evaporative cooling, which cools air through the evaporation of water, rather than through the use of compressors and refrigerants. Evaporative cooling is how cars of the early 1950's were air-conditioned (see a previous post here). A Nashville-based company called Culer has developed a new space cooler using a patented nozzle that combines water and air under low pressure to form extremely small particles of water. When exposed to air, these water particles instantly evaporate and cool the surrounding air. We interviewed Tim Thomas, VP of Sales & Marketing at Culer, to learn more. Here's how he explains how their space cooler works.
It takes a lot of energy to go from a liquid to a gas. If you can cause evaporation, you are going to be very efficient at creating a cooling effect. Air conditioners have to have a compressor to evaporate and then condense a refrigerant, so you are exchanging heat in a not very efficient manner. Because it's a closed system it takes a lot of energy. We use a low pressure pump to run a small fan inside. Then, by using very fine water particles in a concentrated air stream, we are able make evaporation happen immediately. The magic happens in the nozzles. Our nozzles are what I call hydro-pneumatic: they introduce both water and air in the same nozzle. Based on the geometry we call flow blurring, atomization occurs inside the nozzle, and when water exits, it's already atomized. It doesn't just rely on the pressure behind it.
How can a Culer be used in a home to save energy? The Culer AC home series as a complementary product to an existing whole house HVAC system. Instead of setting your air conditioner at 78 degrees you could raise it to 80-82 degrees. Then place the AC series product in the room you are occupying, to cool that specific area or zone that you are in, thereby saving money because you're able to run your whole house system at a higher temperature.
There are several models of Culer products, each made for indoor or outdoor areas of different sizes. Our patented nozzles make our technology unique, and it is completely scalable. We can make products for the home all the way up to our professional unit, which includes six larger nozzles as well as a 30-inch fan that can handle up to 3,000 square feet and can be used in both indoor and outdoor locations. The features of the product are very simple. There is an on-off button and a control for a 3-speed fan. The cooling effect activates the low pressure pump; this pressurizes the water which then goes up to the nozzle. The dial in the middle allows you to fine tune the amount of water you introduce into the air stream. For a very hot, dry environment you would set the dial to use more water, and for more humid areas you use less. The port can be positioned up or down by 15 degrees, and rotated horizontally up to 180 degrees. To activate the unit, all you need to do is put one gallon of water in it. For a single-port device, one gallon of water will last around 12 hours. Pour one gallon of water into the fill port. Put the cap back on and make sure it is sealed tightly as that tank will get pressurized. It uses 12-volt DC power, which is compatible with any vehicle - whether it's a boat, an RV, or a standard automobile or truck - and you can simply plug it into that vehicle's system. The AC 200 has 2 ports and two atomizing nozzles that can be operated in independent directions, and costs only about 12-cents per day to operate.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies: