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

Are There Any Benefits to Getting My Ducts Cleaned?

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

If you have ductwork in your home for forced-air heating or air conditioning, you won’t see it most of the time. You may not notice when your ducts become dirty, and so you won’t think about having them cleaned. But duct cleaning is an important step to take to get the most from your home comfort system and to keep you and the others who live in your home healthy.

Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating cares about more than just your comfort; we care about your safety as well, which is why we perform duct cleaning in Canyon Lake, TX.

Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive if you call us to clean your ductwork:

Better air quality

The reason ducts become dirty is that they are tightly sealed all the way to the vents to prevent the loss of air pressure. Dust has few places to escape, and after a couple of years it will start to build up inside the ducts. When your forced-air system comes on, the dust and dirt will be blown out the vents and into your home, reducing the quality of its air. Lower indoor air quality can lead to dry skin, eye irritation, respiratory trouble, nose bleeds, difficulty sleeping, and other health problems. This presents an especially serious issue for people with allergies. Cleaning your ducts will give you safer, cleaner air.

A tidier house

When we come to a customer’s house to perform duct cleaning, we usually notice dust gathering in many places around their home. Even homeowners with the most stringent cleaning regimen cannot avoid a dust contamination if dirty ducts continue to blow out more dust. Having clean ducts is a step to having a cleaner living space.

More efficient heating and cooling

Although it’s unlikely that dirt will completely close up a duct, enough of it coating the insides will cut back on your system’s airflow. Furthermore, when dirt and debris clog up the system’s air filter, it could lead to damage to internal components and costly repairs. You’ll have better temperatures and lower bills with clean ducts.

Ductwork can gather an immense amount of contamination, and you should use take advantage of the slower fall reapair season to hire professionals to provide your ducts with a thorough cleaning. For top-quality Canyon Lake, TX duct cleaning services, call the Lake Canyon HVAC professionals Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating. We can answer all your questions and get the job done quickly and properly

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Can I Use Duct Tape to Seal My Ducts?

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

We wish the folks who developed duct tape had given it another name; any other name. And even though the origins of the name remain obscure (it seems it was originally called “duck tape,” possibly because of its application to duck fabric or its waterproofing capabilities), it was in the 1950s that the name developed a connection to repairing ductwork. The confusion continues to this day, so that many homeowners think a few layers of store-bought gray tape will fix any breaks they discover in the network of ducts that sends hot and cooled air through their home.

But… don’t use duct tape on your ducts! We can’t emphasize this enough. Duct tape has some superb uses because of its strength, powerful adhesion, flexibility, and resistance to water. But fixing ducts isn’t one of them. Again: duct tape is not to be used for sealing your ducts! You need experts to perform duct sealing in Boerne, TX, like those at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating.

You don’t have to take our word on this: extensive tests done at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, concluded that under normal or stressful conditions, duct tape used on ducts turns brittle and fails. The popular adhesive tape failed every test the lab put it through—often catastrophically. The state of California outright illegalized the use of duct tape on actual ductwork, and many building codes across the U.S. also ban duct tape as a solution to ductwork problems.

Commercial duct tape comes with no safety certifications, which means you don’t really know what you are purchasing. Duct tape can burn and produce toxic gasses, and that isn’t anything you want attached to something that is channeling air you breathe!

Professional duct repair technicians sometimes use tape in their work, but it’s a specialized aluminum or metallized tape nothing like commercial duct tape. Experts tend to rely on mastic sealant, a resin-based adhesive, to perform repairs on ducts.

In our DIY age, duct tape has turned into a sort of philosopher’s stone for repairs, leading to the adage: “If anything is wrong, use duct tape!” We have a different adage: “If anything is wrong with your ducts, call professionals!” For your Boerne, TX duct sealing job, leave the roll of gray sticky tape in the drawer and call Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating.

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How to Tell If Your Ductwork Is Leaking

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

The ductwork in your home serves as a distribution system for your HVAC unit, carrying cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter to all corners of the household. In towns like Boerne TX, ductwork is fairly common: a flexible component in a centralized heating and cooling system. Over time, ductwork can spring leaks, created by external damage, fissures in fittings between individual lengths of duct and similar problem spots. Leaking ducts rob your HVAC unit of efficiency, raising costs and allowing external contaminants like dust and dirt to creep in. Here’s how to tell if your ductwork is leaking, allowing you to call in a qualified technician to address it.

The most obvious sign is a whistling or similar noise that picks up any time you turn on your HVAC system.  That’s the sound of air entering or leaving the system via the leaks. It doesn’t happen in every case, but when it does – if you detect a new, unusual sound whenever you operate your HVAC system – it may mean you have a leak.

Subtle clues appear whenever you check your monthly energy bill, or if you notice a drop in your indoor air quality. Leaks in the duct system allow conditioned air to escape when it should be helping to heat or cool your home, forcing your HVAC system to work harder to do its job. That translates into higher monthly bills for your household. And just as good conditioned air can escape through the leak, dust and other contaminants can enter into the ducts through the leak. It then spreads throughout your house via the ducts, increasing irritation in your nose and throat and making dusting duties harder. Pay close attention to your bills and watch the overall health of your family to detect signs of leaky ducts.

If you know how to tell if your ductwork is leaking and suspect you have a fissure somewhere in your system, contact Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating to help. We offer Boerne, TX ductwork services, and will work tirelessly to locate and seal the leak for you. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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Why Is Insulation So Important?

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

When people think of insulation, they tend to imagine it’s something that is only important during the winter. Homes getting “winterized” have new insulation put in the walls and the attic to make sure heat can’t escape into the cold. In Texas, where we tend to have mild winters and sweltering summers, insulation may seem secondary, possibly unnecessary.

However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Insulation is vital for the success of your air conditioner as well as your heater. Without proper insulation in your home, both cold and hot spells will feel much worse, and you’ll end up wasting money on your energy bills because your AC and heater will have to work harder to bring your house to the temperature you want.

At Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating, we handle all kinds of comfort needs for all kinds of homes. We know how important insulation is, and we want you to know it as well. If you need San Antonio, TX insulation services, reach out to us.

How Does Insulation Work

Insulation serves a basic function: it forms a barrier against the movement of heat. It keeps it out of your home; it keeps it in your home. Imagine these two scenarios:

  1. During winter, your heater sends warmth into your house, but poor insulation in the walls and the attic (especially the attic!) lets it leak outdoors with little opposition. You find cold spots all over your home, and the heater struggles to keep the temperature up, which causes premature wear and tear.
  2. During summer, your air conditioner blows out cooled air. But it meets a wall of resistance from the heat that gets through weak insulation. You need to keep your AC running more and more just to reach a decent, comfortable temperature. Electricity bills rise and your air conditioner risks a breakdown.

You have a number of options for insulating your home for both warm and cool weather. Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating installs spray foam insulation (great for oddly-shapes spaces), blown insulation (ideal for the attic), and radiant barriers (very effective for summer). We can also take care of any repairs or updates you need on your air conditioning or heating system to make certain it works well with your home’s insulation.

Make sure that the place you live is properly armored for every season: contact Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating and get your San Antonio, TX insulation needs taken care of.

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