Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating Blog: Archive for September, 2013

How Often Should I Schedule Duct Cleaning for My Home?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Central heaters and air conditioners use a system of ducts to blow warm or cool air through your home. Over time, dust and dirt can accumulate inside the ducts, which then gets blown through your home whenever you turn on the heat or AC. This can impact your homes indoor air quality – increasing the amount of allergens in your home – as well as reducing the efficiency of your HVAC system in general. San Antonio duct cleaning experts are extra important because because of our hot and humid climate, which can lead to a lot of moisture and growth in your ducts. “How often should I schedule duct cleaning for my house?” you ask. The answer depends on many things.

In the first place, you should consider how much dust and debris your family brings in on an average day. If you spend a lot of time working outdoors, you probably bring dust in when you arrive home. Similarly, if you have kids or pets who spend a lot of time outside, they’re apt to bring some of the great outdoors with them. All of this means scheduling duct cleaning more often than you might otherwise.

Seasonal energy bills may play a hand in it as well. In most cases, your energy bills will go up in the summer time, when you end up using your air conditioning more. Scheduling a duct cleaning before those bills kick in can improve your system’s efficiency and help cut into the costs of keeping your home cool. A duct cleaning service can also spot more serious issues related to energy bills, such as the presence of leaks of fissures in the system. You can then schedule repairs before the summer gets underway rather than paying more than you should to maintain a cool home.

For a more accurate idea of how often you should schedule duct cleaning for your home, talk to a trained professional. Duct cleaning involves a lot of local weather factors, which a local service like Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating understands.

Call us today; we can discuss your options with you and schedule a service that works for your family.

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How Can I Improve the Quality of Air in My San Antonio Home?

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

In warm Texas weather, you rely on an air conditioner to give you a steady supply of cool, refreshing air. But there’s something you should consider about that air that goes beyond the comfortable temperature it provides—its quality. Poor air quality inside homes can lead to health issues, especially for people with allergies to airborne pollutants. The sealed environment of a modern home makes it difficult for fresh outdoor air to get inside. There is also the risk of microbacteria growing in your ductwork, creating further air quality problems.

But don’t get too worried! There are many ways you can improve the indoor air quality of your San Antonio home. In this post, we’re going to go over some of the ways you can remove the dust, debris, and other contaminants from your air. And when you need specialists to help you with your home’s air quality, contact our staff at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating today!

Clogged filters are one reason for a decline in your air quality. If you have neglected to change the filter on your air conditioner once every month during hot weather, then the build-up of particles trapped in it can lead to excessive dust. Changing out the filters on a regular schedule is a simple task and the first step in getting control over the quality of air in your home.

Your ducts are responsible for distributing cooled air throughout your house, so if they suffer damage or wear it can lead to air quality issues. Breaks along ducts can cause your AC to draw in air from dusty and warm parts of your home, such as the attic. Not only will this put more pollutants into your air, but it will make the air conditioner work harder to overcome the extra heat. Call in an HVAC expert to find the breaks and seal them so they won’t cause further trouble.

We mentioned microbacteria growing in your ducts at the top of this post. This can happen because of high humidity levels. As unpleasant as this sounds, fixing the problem isn’t too difficult. Special UV germicidal lights installed at important areas in your ducts and around vents can destroy the cellular structure of mold and other biological contaminants. This eliminates them and discourages them from coming back.

For a quarter of a century, Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating has provided solutions to increase indoor air quality in San Antonio. From sealing ducts to installing germicidal lights, our technicians can handle your needs to keep you cool and healthy inside your home.

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Why Is There Ice on My Air Conditioning System?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

You expect your air conditioner to give you soothing, lower temperatures to combat the Texas heat. But you don’t expect to see ice starting to form on its components—the air should be cold, but your AC shouldn’t be that cold. If your indoor unit starts icing over, it may be a sign of an issue with your system that needs attention before it has a negative impact on your AC’s operation. Our technicians at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating often see this problem during our San Antonio air conditioning service calls, so we can tell you a bit about why it may happen.

To better understand the reason why ice forms on your indoor unit, you should know a bit about the basic operation of an air conditioner. An air conditioner doesn’t “create” cold air. It removes heat from indoor air. The heat exchanger uses rapid evaporation and condensation of a chemical compound running through the air conditioner, known as refrigerant. Heated refrigerant in the outdoor coil causes condensation, releasing heat. The cooler refrigerant in the indoor coil evaporates, absorbing heat from your inside air and making you feel cooler.

If your indoor coil—also known as the condensing coil—has difficulty with evaporation, it will not absorb sufficient heat. The lower temperature of the refrigerant can then start to freeze over, causing the frost that you see. Interference with evaporation will make your AC work less efficiently when drawing out heat from your home. And no, just because the fan is blowing across ice doesn’t mean you’ll get cool air. The more ice, the less cold air.

There are a number of culprits that might trigger freezing.

  • A common one is a build-up of dust along the indoor coils because of an excessively clogged air filter. Dirty coils will block evaporation from occurring. Problems with your ducts can also cause this dusty build-up.
  • Another reason for frozen coils is a low refrigerant charge. Refrigerant doesn’t get used up during normal heat exchange, but leaks can happen. With less refrigerant evaporating, the refrigerant won’t get enough heat and may start to freeze the coils as it passes through them.

Ice in your air conditioner is a problem that will only become worse if you leave it unattended. Call in the experts at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating when you notice ice forming. Our technicians will diagnose the problem and offer repair solutions, whether it requires cleaning the coils or fixing refrigerant leaks. Offering exceptional air conditioning services in San Antonio, TX is our specialty, and we’re ready to help you!

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What Are UV Germicidal Lights?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Nobody wants to have biological pollutants inside their ductwork, and the regular air filters in your AC are not effective at removing such contaminants. UV germicidal lights offer an innovative solution to eliminating these pollutants from your ducts. In this post, we’ll explain what these lights do and how they can help with improving the air quality within your home. If you want UV germicidal lights installed in your San Antonio, TX home, look to Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating for quality, knowledgeable service.

The name “UV Germicidal Lights” sounds a bit intimidating, doesn’t it? It seems more like something you might find inside a laboratory rather than in your home. There is some truth to this: starting in the mid-20th century, UV germicidal lights were commonly used in laboratories and medical facilities to help create sterile environments. In fact, the man who pioneered their development, Danish scientist Niels Ryberg Finsen, won the 1903 Nobel Prize for Medicine because the UV lights could be used to kill the bacteria that caused tuberculosis.

But these powerful ultraviolet tools have started to enter residential homes to eliminate mold, fungus, and other biological pollutants that can form inside the dark and cool spaces in air conditioning ducts. An ultraviolet (UV) light is a mercury vapor lamp that that projects short wavelengths rays. These rays penetrate the cell walls of biological contaminants and disrupt their DNA, making it impossible for their cellular functions to continue working. This kills mold and bacteria and prevents them from spreading to cause further problems.

UV germicidal lights don’t just destroy the pollutants already growing inside your AC system. Their continual ultraviolet light also discourages the contaminants from returning, keeping your ducts clean and efficient and the air quality in your home at a healthy level. They also require very little maintenance—usually just an occasional bulb replacement.

Because UV germicidal lights are complex pieces of equipment, they require expert installation to make sure that they do their job properly and pose no risks to you and your family. Our San Antonio, TX professionals at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating specialize in installing UV germicidal lights so they will do their job efficiently. If you have concerns about your homes indoor air quality, contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

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Why We Celebrate Labor Day

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

We hope our present and future customers had a pleasant Labor Day this September. We know how hard you work to ensure that you and your loved ones have a good life, and we feel the same way about the work that we do throughout the year. Home comfort is our business, so you can rely on our technicians to take care of any issues that you may have. To many of us, Labor Day means BBQ, the start of the football season, and spending quality time with our friends and family. But there is much more to this holiday, and we wanted to share its true purpose with you.

Like many US holidays, the origins of Labor Day are somewhat disputed. While many cite Peter J. McGuire’s (of the American Federation of Labor) suggestion of a demonstration and picnic as the inaugural Monday, others cite Matthew Maguire, then secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York. In the wake of the massive and violent Pullman Strike of 1894, which pitted George Pullman and US Marshals and Military against workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company outside Chicago. Designated as a federal holiday by Congress and President Grover Cleveland in 1894, a mere six days after the strike ended, Labor Day has since become a way of recognizing the contribution that hard working Americans have made to this country.

We wish you all the best, and hopefully you took the time to relax, eat some good food, and take a load off.

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