Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Category: Indoor Air Quality

Among the greatest difficulties when heating and cooling one’s home is not only doing so effectively and efficiently, but doing so while also maintaining high levels of indoor air quality. Many modern homeowners seek to seal up their homes as tightly as possible in an effort to minimize any energy waste that may occur due to air leaks and other issues. The problem with this is that it negates the appropriate levels of natural ventilation which you need in order to keep the air in your home fresh.

By using an ERV or HRV in Fort Collins, CO, though, you can heat and cool your home efficiently while also allowing for sufficient ventilation, keeping the quality of the air in your home high. Here is some information to consider regarding such systems, courtesy of the IAQ experts here at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. If you decide that an HRV or ERV is right for you, then just give us a call.

ERVs (energy recovery ventilators) and HRVs (heat recovery ventilators) are both mechanized ventilation systems, and both operate fairly similarly. In order to vent old, stale air out of the home without wasting the energy that you used in order to condition it, the ERV or HRV passes this air stream by the incoming air, which is not conditioned but is fresh from the outdoors. A transfer of thermal energy takes place, meaning that heat from the air inside is used to pre-warm cold incoming air during the winter months. In the summer, the cool air leaving your home pre-chills the hot, fresh air coming in. Energy recovery ventilators, though, unlike HRVs, allow the air streams to mix a bit, rather than just passing them very near one another.

This intermingling of the air streams allow for the balancing of humidity levels, in addition to the heat transfer that heat recovery ventilators also offer. By balancing humidity for optimal levels, energy recovery ventilators can help to prevent the unwanted fluctuation of humidity during the ventilation process. While some people may recommend that HRVs are best used in cold, dry climates, as humidity is not as much of an issue, the truth is that determining whether or not your home will best benefit from an HRV or ERV may vary on a case to case basis.

A number of factors, including air leaks in the home envelope, the number of square feet measured against the number of occupants, and even the personal habits of people in your home may impact the decision. By hiring and IAQ specialist, such as those at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, you can know for certain that you are choosing the right system for your needs. If you are wondering if an energy recovery ventilator or a heat recovery ventilator is right for you, then just give us a call today.

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It can be an annoying experience to clean your home from top to bottom, only to discover you missed an obvious spot like the stovetop or the ceiling fans. While you can try to keep your home as clean as possible, there are areas that are easy to skip over, and some areas that are difficult to reach. One spot in the home that most homeowners tend to neglect is the ductwork. And while you may attempt to clean the vents in order to compensate, this may not do much to eliminate contaminants that your family members may breathe in every day.

Air duct cleaning is a job best left to professionals with the expertise and the proper tools to get the job done. Heavy duty vacuums, soft brushes, and a steady hand can help to eliminate any of the following contaminants from your home.

  • Dust Mites: Dust mites tend to dwell in warm humid places, and can become kicked up into the air and settle at various places in the home. These trigger allergies and are a common source of asthma, especially in children.
  • Pollen: Many people feel their allergies are worst when there is a lot of pollen in the air, which can move into your home and settle in the ducts.
  • Pet Dander: Pet dander is another common source of allergies that may lay hidden in the ductwork. Don’t own any pets? Keep in mind that the person who owned the home before you very well could have.
  • Bacteria: Bacteria can move from the ductwork into the living space and affect those with respiratory or immune disorders, but they can also cause people to feel ill even if they have no preexisting health conditions.
  • Mold: Mold is a fungus that survives in damp areas, and can cause respiratory trouble for any person in the home. You may be able to keep mold out of the ducts by having an expert install a UV germicidal light system over your indoor air handler.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning for air duct cleaning in Red Feather Lakes by professionals who care about the quality of the air you breathe.

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For many homeowners, beginning a new year means it’s time to start over with a cleaner and more relaxing home. And while you may do all you can to dust, vacuum, and wipe down every surface of your home, there is one area that is very difficult for the average homeowner to get to: the ductwork.

Ducts are responsible for moving air into your home. While most standard forced-air heating and air conditioning systems have a filter that helps reduce the amount of particles that circulate through the air, most ducts still have some contaminants living in them.

While your home vacuum may be able to reach the area of the ducts leading out to the vents in your home, this is not the proper way to clean the ducts. Tiny organic or inorganic materials living deep in the ductwork can be forced out as the fan from the air handler of your heating and air conditioning system pushes air through, and your home vacuum cannot address most of these. With professional service, your ducts will be cleaner, which could reduce allergens in the home and the risk of illness.

The professionals at Fort Collins have the right equipment and expertise to perform a thorough duct cleaning in Severance, CO.

  • Access Tools: Professionals will use tools to access portions of the ductwork throughout the process. They may cut holes into the ducts and seal them afterwards or remove entire portions of ductwork.
  • Inspection Materials: A technician will also need some kind of tool to inspect the ducts. This may be anything from a handheld mirror to a video camera. In any case, they’ll look for any leaks that may affect the cleaning process and decide which type of equipment is best to use for your particular setup.
  • Vacuums: A high-pressure vacuum creates negative pressure in the ducts. Debris is then freed from the duct lining and it easily makes its way into the vacuum hose.
  • Brushes: However, some debris may still be stuck to the ducts afterwards. Professionals can use soft brushes before and after the process to scrape off any extra debris, taking extra care not to damage the ductwork.

The heating and air conditioning experts at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning can also provide professional duct cleaning in Severance, CO, for improved indoor air quality and peace of mind.

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If some of the rooms in your home never cool quite as quickly as you’d like, it could indicate a problem with the ductwork. Many homeowners take their ducts for granted, forgetting that a component so hidden from view could be so vital to the performance of an HVAC system. Ducts must be in top condition in order for your HVAC system to deliver cool or heated air into your home as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, ducts may develop cracks and holes over time that keep them from delivering their best work.

Sometimes, faulty ductwork seems like a tolerable problem. For instance, you may adjust to the fact that it takes your home longer to reach a certain temperature, or you may simply vacate the rooms where heating or cooling seems to be uneven. But duct sealing offers more benefits than simply making your home more comfortable. Here are a few reasons prompt duct sealing is so important.

Help Your HVAC System Perform at Its Best

When your ducts are leaking, air cannot reach your home as quickly as it should. This is a given, but have you thought about how this might affect your air conditioner or furnace? When air cannot enter your home with ease, your HVAC system will work harder to reach the proper temperature. This means that parts can become worn down and may eventually fail.

Besides, all the extra work does a number on your energy bills. You spend extra money every month for all of the work your system does, as it must run for longer periods of time to reach the temperature you’ve set.

Improve the Indoor Air Quality

One less obvious reason to schedule duct sealing is improving the quality of the air you breathe. Your ductwork runs through some of the dirtiest areas of your home, the parts that you can’t reach as part of your normal cleaning routine, such as a small crawlspace. As air flows through a leaky duct, it may suck up some of the dust and debris in the crawlspace as well as hazardous particles from insulation.

For professional, quality duct sealing in Loveland, call the indoor air quality experts at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today!

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People are usually more concerned about overcoming humid air than dry air. A “dry heat” means a more comfortable heat, after all. However, humidity levels that are too low can cause as many health and comfort problems as humidity levels that are too high. You can purchase small portable room humidifiers to deal with the low humidity trouble on a small level, but to take care of dry air throughout a home, you need to contact professionals in indoor air quality and have them install a whole-house humidifier.

There are a number of good reasons for you to consider humidifiers in Fort Collins, CO. If you think that a humidifier is the right choice for you, contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We have many decades of experience finding comfort solutions for homes and businesses in Northern Colorado, and we’re ready to help you find the ideal balance of humidity in your home.

Some benefits of installing a humidifier

  • Increased comfort: High humidity makes you feel hotter because the moisture in the air slows down your body’s ability to release heat. Low humidity does the opposite. It draws water—and therefore heat—rapidly from your body, making you feel cooler. This is an advantage during the summer, but a severe handicap during a rough Colorado winter. A humidifier will give the balanced “just right” moisture level to keep you comfortable.
  • Decreased health issues: Low humidity causes problems from dried-out skin, causing itching and flaking. It will also lead to eye-irritation, nose bleeds, and sore throats. In addition, the dry environment makes the transmission of illnesses easier, and a number of viruses thrive in arid atmospheres. You can eliminate these discomforts and dangers with humidity raised to a safe, balanced level.
  • Protect you home and furnishings: When the air in a home becomes excessively dry, it will begin to cause cracking and splintering in wood. This will not only damage your floors and wooden furniture, but it can ruin precision devices such as wooden musical instruments. Low humidity will also cause paint to peel and chip and wallpaper to peel. Keep all this from happening with the right humidifier working to keep the humidity at a safe level.

A whole-house humidifier goes into your HVAC system, and a professional installer will make sure that the unit will function well with your heater and air conditioner and not make your home too damp.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today and one of our specialists will help you out with humidifiers in Fort Collins, CO and the surrounding areas.

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Although the ductwork of your house remains mostly hidden from your sight, there are still ways to tell if you need professionals to seal up breaks or gaps in your ducts. If you detect low air pressure, incorrect temperatures, or musty smells emanating from your vents, then chances are good there’s a break somewhere in them. (Even if there isn’t, something is wrong and it needs investigating.)

Duct sealing isn’t only about restoring your home’s correct temperature. It will save you money. Here are some of the different ways that our Laporte, CO, duct sealing team at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning can help you save money with repairs on your ducts.

Here’s Why Duct Sealing Will Save You Money

  • Increased efficiency for your HVAC system: The most immediate problem that breaks and gaps in ducts will cause is a reduction of air pressure. Ductwork requires an airtight seal along its length to maintain the air pressure from the blower all the way to the vents, and when any leaks occur along the ducts it will lead to a drop in airflow and a loss of heating and cooling. Your HVAC system will work harder to overcome this loss, leading to a noticeable spike in your bills. Duct sealing will restore the airtightness of the ducts and take pressure off your comfort system.
  • Less need for duct cleaning: Duct cleaning is something you should schedule on a regular basis—dust will enter your ventilation system no matter what—but the amount of dust and other contaminants that will enter the ducts will leap dramatically because of breaks. Often, these breaks occur in hidden and dusty areas of your home, which makes the dirt and debris problem worse. You could find yourself needing duct cleaning more than once a year unless you seal up those holes.
  • Reduced chance of needing mold remediation: Another danger from having leaks that open up onto hidden and unused areas of your home is that moisture can get inside the ducts, and this will encourage the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. To protect your indoor air quality, as well as to prevent further damage to the ducts, you will need to have mold remediation done using the installation of UV germicidal lights. Avoid this extra expense with timely duct sealing.

Duct Sealing Needs Professionals

If you thought that perhaps you could just seal those holes with duct tape, you need to know that duct tape isn’t for ductwork. Sealing ducts requires special metallic tape and resin sealant. It also requires technicians capable of accessing your ducts. Call in the professionals for this job: Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning has the duct sealing and HVAC service specialists in Laporte who can help you save money.

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The most common method of heating homes is through forced-air systems: heaters that distribute warm air through ductwork and out vents. Furnaces as well as most heat pumps use ducts to provide homes with the warmth they need during winter.

There’s a downside to ducts, however, which is that if they develop contamination from dust, dirt, pollen, dander, or microbacteria, they will contribute to a reduction in the quality of your indoor air. They will also place more strain on your heating system, and this will lead to higher heating bills and extra repairs.

Because some level of dust or dirt will eventually develop in your ventilation system, you should schedule duct cleaning in Wellington, CO regularly or when you find evidence of duct contamination. This is a job for professional duct cleaners using special equipment. For excellent local duct cleaning services, call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

The Stages of Professional Duct Cleaning

System testing: The duct cleaners will open up the cabinet of your heating system and then activate it to see that it is working as expected. They will then shut off the power to the system.

Removing the blower and accessing the vents: The blower unit is what sends the conditioned air into the ductwork. The cleaners will detach the blower to allow them to access the ducts.

Power vacuuming: The most important step in the cleaning process is attaching a high-powered vacuum to the ductwork that applies pressure to the entire network of ducts. Compressed air forces the dust and dirt from the walls to make it easier for the vacuum to draw it in. These vacuums are immense and apply a level of pressure and suction far above anything found in a commercial vacuum. The cleaners will also use special agitation tools like rotary brushes, as well as inspection camera equipment to monitor where they need to apply cleaning.

Sealing the system and testing: Once the cleaning is complete, the technicians will detach the vacuum, reconnect the blower unit, and seal up the ductwork. They finish by testing the system to make sure there are no air leaks and everything is working properly.

Only Rely on Professionals

Duct cleaning is intricate work that involves thorough knowledge of how HVAC systems operate. A “duct cleaning” service from amateurs that is nothing more than putting a vacuum hose through a few vents will not get the job done. Instead, you should contact trained experts with the advanced equipment necessary to do the work right.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning takes pride in our services for duct cleaning in Wellington, CO. Give us a call when you need a proper cleaning job done for your ductwork or when you’re looking for other HVAC services in Wellington.

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Ducts form the distribution network for your heating or central air conditioning system. They spread throughout your house via the attic, crawlspace or other unobtrusive location, moving cool or warm air from the central unit to all of your rooms and walkways. Over time, they can accumulate dust, which may have an adverse effect on the quality of air in your home. In Berthoud, duct cleaning may be necessary when the atmosphere gets dry in the winter, creating a lot of dust and similar particles.

But what causes your ducts to get dirty?

In many cases, leaks, cracks or loose fittings are what allow dirt in. When ducts get old, they start to break down, just like any other appliance. If the opening occurs in a dirty part of the house, such as the attic or crawlspace, negative pressure from the air passing through the ducts can pull in dirt and debris.

The causes of those leaks can vary. Heat or cold may cause the metal of the ducts to expand or contract, which puts stress on the fittings and may result in a leak. Improper installation may be the culprit as well, especially if the contractor wasn’t properly certified. Older homes may have an older duct system that is no longer up to code, creating similar issues. Besides the reduction in air quality, such leaks also prevent your heater or air conditioner from functioning at peak capacity, forcing you to pay higher energy bills every month.

A thorough duct cleaning from a trained professional is part of the solution – and such operations are standard procedure for most qualified HVAC experts – but that’s only part of the equation. The specialist needs to hunt down the cause of the leaks or loose fittings and repair it. Otherwise, the process will start all over again. For Berthoud duct cleaning services, contact the specialists at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Our trained experts can travel to your home and pinpoint what causes your ducts to get dirty, then perform professional repairs to seal the leaks. Call us today to set up an appointment.

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