October 15, 2013
Fixing Your San Diego Furnace – There’s More to It Than Just the Furnace
San Diego heating contractors know that energy conservation is a significant concern in our community. San Diegans demand the best in energy efficient-equipment for their homes. We’re stocked and ready to install top-of-the-line, super-efficient Lennox heaters and air conditioning systems, but that is only one part of the equation. Homeowners often forget the importance of the ductwork that carries the air around their homes. Neglected ducting can be a significant waste of energy, and it can also be bad for the inhabitants’ health by contributing to indoor air pollution.
In a standard furnace, about 20% of the energy efficiency goes right out the flue. With newer, upgraded systems that are typically 95-98% efficient, only 2-5% is lost through the flue. However, that efficiency is totally negated if a separated duct joint is blowing the air into your attic. Our Comfort Advisors have shown up for several San Diego heating repair jobs to find that the attic is the most comfortable room in the house!
San Diego Heating Systems Lose Energy Through Ductwork in 2 Main Ways
Leaking Air From San Diego Heaters
Air can escape from the ducts through holes or poorly-connected duct joints. Even when ducts are sealed, they can then cause the house itself to leak more air because of differences in air pressure throughout different zones of the house. This air loss means your system has to work harder to reach the comfort levels you’ve set for it.
The warm or cool air that moves through the ducts heats or cools it’s walls, which in turn affects the temperature outside the ducts. Likewise, in winter, an attic would be close to or the same temperature as outside. This cools the duct walls affecting the air inside the ducts. In both scenarios, your system must work harder to achieve the comfort levels you’ve set, wasting energy and costing you more.
San Diego Heating & Cooling Savings
By inspecting and repairing your heating system’s ductwork, you could expect to get about 20% energy and cost-savings. This could be significantly more depending on the severity and number of inefficiencies currently existing in your system.
Health & Safety Concerns
The distribution of indoor air pollution can have a negative impact on your health. Pollution can be distributed because of air pressure changes caused by the air handler fan and various exhaust fans like bathroom fans, vented range hoods or clothes dryers. Be sure to consider all air movers in the house when analyzing the potential for health and safety problems.
The most common dangers associated with ducts are harmful gasses, vapors or particulates that may come from flue gasses (from furnaces and water heaters), fumes from stored chemicals and radon, a radioactive gas that comes from the ground. Even more serious is the potential for lethal amounts of carbon monoxide to be pulled into the living space.
These hazards can be avoided by removing the source of contaminants where possible and sealing the ducts, especially on the return side. It might also be helpful to repair or upgrade HVAC systems or water heaters or to provide outside pressure relief.
Inspecting Your Ducting
Most people don’t want to go trouncing about in their attic. Often, it is very hot or very cold. There’s also the risk of falling through your ceiling if you’re not careful. Calling a licensed and insured professional takes away this risk. Another good reason to call in a professional is because you should avoid contact with certain types of insulation. If you don’t have the proper attire and want to avoid a serious itch, call a pro!