Types of Ductwork

Ductwork is not visible but is highly significant when it comes to air distribution and utility costs.  Whether buying a home, or finding it’s time for ductwork upgrades, take the time to learn why it matters, so you make the right investment.  If you notice your energy costs keep rising, your indoor air quality continues to degrade, or you constantly have uneven temperatures in all the zones of your home, it may be time to replace your ductwork The Woodlands.

Contact the certified technicians at Expert Air today for a proper and reliable ductwork evaluation that will include a visual inspection, air flow measurements, and ductwork blower test.

When it comes to choosing the right type of duct work for you space, preferences, and budget, you do have choices. No matter your choice, evaluate the pros and cons of each type.

·         Flexible

·         Sheet Metal

·         Fiberglass Duct Board

Duct work is how the cooled air is carried from the air conditioning unit through your home. Ductwork also removes stale air and is a type of filtration system. Sheet Metal is the most commonly used type of air ductwork.  Easy installation and comes in variety of shapes and sizes of thickness.  Biggest pro is that sheet metal air ducts are the most durable type of duct construction and are the least likely to have mold growth.

A second option for ductwork material is Fiberglass Duct Board which is the lowest cost option for air duct systems to install.  Well insulated but has the downfall of mold and mildew overgrowth and the design surface inadvertently impacts airflow and energy efficiency. Other benefits of this option as an unexpected perk is that it provides thermal and acoustical benefits.  The material design serves as an air barrier, water vapor retardant, and it’s sealed to prevent fiberglass fibers from entering the air stream.

The third and final ductwork option is Flexible Air Ducts which are also inexpensive, easy to install, and lightweight.  The trick to this option of duct work The Woodlands is short lengths to minimalize bend. Easiest option for installation and second least expensive option for duct work material.  Remember though, easy installation doesn’t mean it is a wise do-it-yourself project.  Air flow is vital for efficiency and it takes the right kind of training to ensure accuracy, especially for this type of duct work as they impede air flow the most of all the options, so you really must have a keen eye at the time of installation.

When you are ready to install your air conditioning system, contact Expert Air to find out which type of duct is best for your home or business. Duct work is not a one size fits all, so you need to trust your HVAC contractors at Expert Air.

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What’s the Future for Your Air Conditioning Unit

 

The obvious comfort and relief that comes from your home or business air conditioning unit will forever be significant and a basic requirement for overall well-being.  That may sound a tad extreme but taking it back to psychology, physiological requirements must be met before the psyche can further develop, and from our youngest days to our last days, part of that need is a comfort that your ac unit is built for. 

AC Units are not new though, and the technological advancements for them only continue.  What then does the future hold for your residential or commercial air conditioning system? In some ways, the future is now. We are already experiencing the changes and benefits of home automation and smart technology. Depending on the brand and model.  Smart technology already seems to be integrated into our everyday lives, even for those who aren’t overly tech savvy.  From controlling lighting with a remote or phone application, setting alarms or turning of lights remotely from online, to newer television sets, smart technology has been integrated into these products.

Over the more recent years, the heating and cooling industry has already been integrated by smart technology. You can already control your temperature settings from smartphone applications, which gives you convenience, peace of mind, and improved utility usage. It’s not far fetched to say that in the future voice-activated technology can be used to change your ac unit settings, report the internal status of working components, schedule repairs, and more.

AC units are no longer designed to be bulky, ugly, and disregarded as just a requirement for the home. Today HVAC systems are designed with style, seamlessness, and overall energy impact in mind. Units today are designed to be smaller, blend pleasantly, and be more efficient.

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Talk of Radiant Barriers

The importance and impact of radiant barriers can be seen by evaluating your utility bills before and after the installation. If you are considering installing radiant barriers so you too can experience the cost savings, contact Expert Air today to schedule your evaluation, professional installation, or to have any questions answered.

Simply put, the hotter the temperatures, the more effective the radiant barrier. You can save 5-17% on cooling bills by investing in radiant barriers. Over time, the effect the radiant barrier has, pays for itself in overall cost savings. You will basically be paying yourself to be more comfortable.

What is a Radiant Barrier

How the radiant barrier works is simple physics. It’s made of an aluminum surface that reflects heat back to where it originated. From the sun to beating down on your roof, the heat seeps through the surface into the attic, which works into the rest of the house, creating more need and overhaul on the air conditioning system. The radiant barrier reflects the heat from the roof back to the sun, thus not allowing the same intensity of heat to penetrate the roof

Another cost saving of the radiant barrier is the impact saved on the air conditioning unit. Again, no radiant barrier means more heat in your home or business, and the ac unit runs more to compensate, but with a radiant barrier, the ac unit doesn’t have to work as hard or as often.  Less wear and tear on the ac unit means more savings long-term for the consumer.

A note to remember when considering investing in a radiant barrier is that it MUST be installed correctly to be effective, so before you attempt to do-it-yourself, consider what a waste it would be if you did it wrong. Worry not about installation by trusting the certified technicians at Expert Air.

The Heat Levels

Although there is currently not a standardized industry test for radiant barriers, there is a multitude of field studies that have similar results that show 16-42% reduction in ceiling heat in attic when comparing attics with R-19 insulation with a radiant barrier versus the same insulation with no installed radiant barrier. Attic heat represents approximately 15-25% of the total cooling load on the house.

 

In Texas, where we have plenty of intense heat majority of the year, placing the extra protection against thermal radiation is one of the best ways to keep heat out of your home. The radiant barrier is an excellent addition to your home insulation. Radiant barriers offers cost-savings for residential and commercial consumers.

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Things to Consider for Chilled Water System

For any commercial company, regardless of size, overhead costs and safety are of the highest concern to be handled efficiently.  Chilled water systems come to mind here because your ac system is a must for comfort, productivity, and safety.  The pros and cons for a chilled water system will be discussed below, but what’s to be remembered is that overall, chilled water systems are cost effective avenues for cool temperatures that are also safe. Safe because having refrigerant piped all over your commercial building, has inherit hazards, and chilled water systems take that hazard out.

 

Advantages

·         Energy Reduction and Lower Utility Bills – Compared to standard air cooled chiller/HVAC system

·         Noise Reduction – Extremely quiet choice, excellent in certain environments.  Water is not as susceptible to duct and vent expansion and contraction.

·         Healthier Option – water is non toxic and non corrosive, unlike your standard cooling systems that use refrigerant and other chemicals for operation

·         Safer Solution – again, no refrigerant piped hazard to be worried about

·         Longevity – Lasts longer than standard air cooled chiller alternative because water chilled is installed indoors and the alternative is outdoors, impacted by the elements.  Also alternative uses chemicals that the water chilled system doesn’t require

 

Disadvantages

·         Higher Upfront Costs – All technology advanced equipment costs more upfront than the standard option. Also, more complex units tend to have higher labor costs due to specialized training.  It can pay for itself over time in a multitude of ways (think advantages)

·         Standard Maintenance Increase – More working parts means more chance of increased inspection, repair, and/or replacement of faulty parts. Water treatments will also be required.

·         Not as Effective in Humid Environments - Higher levels of humidity raise the wet-bulb temperature, which is an indicator of how efficiently water absorbs heat. This equates to higher operating costs.

Whether you are ready for your first water chilled system or need a repair or replacement to your already installed unit, the HVAC technicians at Expert Air are certified, knowledgeable, and professional.  For all your commercial needs, you can rely on Expert Air. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your appointment.

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Should You Go with Zone System for Your HVAC

If you are tired of having an imbalance in temperatures in your home or office building, you may be suffering from inadequate cooling options, with a solution option of zoning for your HVAC system. If during the summer months, it seems some rooms never cool off, or in the winter it seems some rooms never warm up while others do, you may need to consider zone systems for your residential or commercial cooling needs.

To determine if you should seriously consider changing your current ac system and retrofit a zone system or to have a new installation all together, consider the following:

1.       Some areas get hotter or colder than others

2.       Do you have multiple floors in your floor plan

3.       Do you have vaulted ceilings

4.       Do any of your rooms have floor to ceiling windows

5.       Do some rooms get little to no use

6.       Does a part of your structure lay over a basement

7.       Do certain users have different temperature needs than the rest

If you answered yes to two or more of the above questions, you should consider contacting Expert Air, your local HVAC contractor, to determine if a zone system is advised for your home or office. Ideally, you can expect to spend around $2,500 - $3,500 if the zone system is installed at the beginning, whereas if you are installing only part of the overall HVAC system, you can anticipate higher costs.  To get an accurate estimate, contact Expert Air for your onsite evaluation.

 

 The main factors to evaluate when considering zoning for your HVAC system include:

 

·         Comfort

o   Improved comfort is the main goal for HVAC zone system

o   Eliminate hot or cold spots, regardless of ac system running

o   For those who prefer it cold, get it, while those who like it a little warmer, get it too

·         Save Money

o   Conserve energy and lower your monthly utility bill

o   Specifying the area for cooling/warming instead of a whole home/building means no wasted energy

·         Control

o   The ability to choose individual sections for specific temperatures. Takes comfort, energy savings, and overall control into consideration

Whether you are focusing on one, two, or all three factors for benefits of HVAC zoning, the professionals at Expert Air are trained and efficient in evaluation, installation, or repair.  Let the knowledge of all the pros and cons of zone systems be at your fingertips, when you work with the HVAC certified technicians at Expert Air.

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