Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating Blog:
Archive for January, 2014

When Is a Good Time to Schedule Duct Cleaning?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Most heating and cooling systems use forced-air to send out conditioned air around a home. With the exception of ductless mini splits, forced-air systems all use ductwork to carry the air from the unit cabinet to the vents. The condition of these ducts is important to improve your indoor air quality and for keeping your HVAC system as efficient as possible. For these reasons—and the reasons listed below, you should schedule regular duct cleaning.

There are some specific times when you should schedule duct cleaning instead of waiting until a point marked on your calendar. Call Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating in Selma, TX for duct cleaning at any of these times:

When You Have Unexplained Heating/Cooling Bill Increases

A lining of dirt and dust along the inside of ductwork will increase the resistance against the airflow from your furnace, heat pump, or AC. This will force the system to work harder to reach its target temperature, and will result in an increase on your power bills. If you see a spike in your bills, and it doesn’t change because of maintenance or repairs, you should schedule duct cleaning to give your HVAC system as easier path to keeping you comfortable.

When You Notice an Increase of Cold and/or Allergy-like Symptoms

Ducts that have become contaminated with dust, dirt, pollen, dander, mold, and microbacteria will have a negative impact on your air quality, leading to people in your home suffering from symptoms similar to colds and allergies. People with actual allergies will notice the effects first, but you don’t have to have any allergies to suffer from these effects. If problems such as wheezing, coughing, headaches, and nose and eye irritation start to become frequent, you should look into duct cleaning to help remedy the problem.

When More Than a Year Has Passed Since the Last Cleaning

Although ducts will have different cleaning schedules depending on their size and frequency of use, in general a year is sufficient time for dust to grow inside to the point of causing cold and flu-like symptoms. If it’s been more than a year since you’ve scheduled duct cleaning—or if you’ve never had duct cleaning done before—now is the right time to take care of it.

Duct cleaning requires professionals, both to safely access your ducts and to use the specialized equipment necessary to get down to the deep-set grime. Give us a call today and speak with our ductwork cleaning specialists at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating to schedule a thorough duct cleaning that will leave you with a safe, cleaner home and a more efficient heating and cooling system. We also offer a variety of other indoor air quality and HVAC services in Selma, TX, so be sure to let us know what you need!

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3 Benefits of Scheduling Maintenance for Your Heating System

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Given our warm winter in San Antonio, heating maintenance is usually more of a concern than heating repair. Like any other system, your heater can break down from time to time, requiring an expert technician to come in and take a look. A maintenance session — which consists of cleaning off the dust tightening loose fittings, and running the system to look for any specific problems – is usually a more reliable means of handling your heating system than simply waiting for a component to break down. Accordingly, you should probably set up a regular schedule to have your heater maintained, ideally every year before the winter heating season begins.

Here are 3 benefits of scheduling maintenance for your heating system.

  • It prevents repair bills. Maintenance sessions help you spot small problems before they become large ones. That means that repair sessions can be kept small or even prevented altogether provided your schedule maintenance sessions regularly.
  • It improves efficiency. The little “tune-up” steps taking during a maintenance session help reduce friction on moving parts and lower wear and tear overall. That means your heater will use less energy to perform its functions, which translates to lower monthly energy bills for you.
  • It extends the life of the heater. With less friction and lower overall wear, your furnace will last a lot longer than it otherwise might before it needs to be replaced. Regular maintainence may even help you get years out of your furnace in some circumstances, which is always an agreeable outcome.

The benefits to scheduling maintenance for your heating system are self-evident, especially here in Texas. Getting heating maintenance service in San Antonio is part and parcel of reliable home upkeep, and with the levels of dust and grime than can build up during our warm summers, a little TLC can go a long way. To set up a maintenance session or establish a regular schedule for heating upkeep, contact the experts at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating. Our trained staff will perform the operation with skill and care, so don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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What Kind of Fuel Does a Furnace Use?

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Perhaps a better way of phrasing this question is, “What kind of fuel doesn’t a furnace use?” In their long history, dating back centuries, furnaces have used wood, coal, peat, oil, and almost anything combustible. The flexibility of furnaces is one of the reasons they have stayed popular for so long; any home can find one that will work with its available fuel supply.

Today, furnaces typically use one of three types of energy: natural gas, electricity, or propane. Which type will work best for your home depends on a number of factors. We will run down the three major choices in this post to help with your decision. However, you will need the help of home heating experts to make an informed final choice. Call Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating for all your questions about furnace installation in Boerne, TX.

Natural gas

This is the most common type of furnace in U.S. homes. They run on natural gas piped from a municipal supply. This fuels the burners that create a hot combustion gas that is transferred to the air blown through the ventilation system. Gas furnaces are the most efficient furnace model and cost less to run than other models because gas is a less expensive fuel. They can also reach very high temperatures. But since they require an existing gas line, not every home can install one.

Electricity

Electrical furnaces are popular alternatives for homes without natural gas. Electrical heating elements inside the cabinet heat up the air for the blower fans to send into the house. Electrical furnaces have lower installation costs than natural gas furnaces and can last longer. They also pose little safety hazard. However, they cost more to run and cannot achieve as effective heating as gas furnaces.

Propane

Propane furnaces operate in much the same way as natural gas furnaces, except they use a propane supply kept in a tank. Propane furnaces are less frequent today because propane does not burn as efficiently or cleanly as natural gas, and it comes in a limited supply instead of entering directly into a house. Propane furnaces, however, work very well as back-up units for hybrid heat pumps, and they pose less combustion risk than gas furnaces.

The furnace that will work best for your home is Yet to Be Determined. To find out the furnace that will keep you warm at the right price will require the work of professional installers, who will examine your home and determine its heating needs.

Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating has been in business for over a quarter of a century, helping people keep warm with the ideal furnace for them. We can help you with your furnace installation in Boerne, TX. Call us today and we’ll answer all your questions and concerns.

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These Are Your Insulation Options

Friday, January 10th, 2014

For the best heating and cooling around the year, you need more than an effective HVAC system. You also need a home with the appropriate insulation in place to keep the warmth outside during the summer and trapped inside during the winter weather. The main tool to create a heat seal in your home is insulation.

Insulation forms a thermal barrier that stops the movement of heat. Most insulation prevents convection (movement through air) and conduction (movement through material), so the heat stays where you want it to stay. If you have insufficient insulation in your home, it will be a problem no matter the time of the year.

Contact Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating for installation of insulation and other indoor air quality service needs in New Braunfels, TX.

We have a number of different options for insulating your home:

Spray foam insulation

This is an alternative to the common fiberglass insulation. It is a mixture of isocyanate and polyol resin. A special gun sprays out the compound, which expands into a foam. The foam then hardens to create the thermal barrier. Spray foam is excellent for insulating areas with difficult to reach nooks and corners that other types of insulation do not fit. According to the US Department of Energy, spray foam insulates as much as 50% better than traditional fiberglass insulation.

Blown in insulation

This is a popular method for insulation because it uses recycled material and is therefore environmentally friendly. Hoses blow out the insulation over wall cavities, attics, and floors, and the material settles fast. Like spray foam, blown in insulation works well for unusually sized or tight spaces.

Radiant barriers

This insulation is specifically designed to keep out heat during sunny weather. They are made of highly reflective material that doesn’t absorb heat like other insulation, but instead redirects it. Radiant barriers fit into your roof to reflect back the heat of the sun to prevent it from entering your home. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates radiant barriers will reduce cooling costs by 5%-10% in warm, sunny climates—like Texas.

You need professionals to place insulation in your home. It’s not only an issue of the right type of insulation to install, but also the R-value of the insulation, i.e. its level of effectiveness. For your insulation in New Braunfels, TX, put your trust in the experience of the technicians at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating. We will pick the insulation type that will give your home the best seal against heat.

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