Tag Archives: home maintentance

Does Your Air Conditioner Ductwork Need Repair or Replacement?

 Heated or cooled air circulates through your air conditioning ductwork to all the areas of your home to keep you comfortable. If air leaks out of the ductwork anywhere along the line, it can create problems for you: a system that has to work harder to reach the temperature settings on your thermostat, an uncomfortably cold or hot home environment, and higher utility bills.

Does Your Air Conditioner Ductwork Need Repair or Replacement?

An air conditioning system that is constantly running to match thermostat settings will need repairs more frequently, and it will wear out sooner. Leaky air ducts pull in dust, debris, and other particles from your attic and send them blowing through the vents into your rooms—resulting in diminished air quality in your home. If there is a hole or crack in an air duct leading to a particular room, that space will have hot or cold spots which make the room feel as if it is not being heated (or cooled) at all.

Leaky air ducts can lower the efficiency of your system by as much as 20-40% and that means higher energy bills as well. It doesn’t matter how good your HVAC system is if the duct system supporting it is not functioning as it should.

What to do?

Unlike a leaky water pipe where the dripping water is visible, a leaky air duct can be more difficult to find, especially since part of it may be concealed in areas you cannot reach. Should you have your air ducts cleaned?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are no studies that prove health problems can be prevented by air duct cleaning. But your HVAC system will work more efficiently if there is good airflow in your duct system. If you have done extensive remodeling inside your home, generating a great amount of dust, it might be a good idea to have your ductwork cleaned, but, otherwise, it is not necessary to do so any more often than once every five years. If you are experiencing some of the problems mentioned earlier in this article; however, and your ductwork has been in place for a long time or has never been checked, it would be wise to have it evaluated.

A certified HVAC professional can evaluate and test your ductwork to diagnose any airflow problems that you may have. He can seal or add insulation to the ductwork depending on the problems he may find or advise you if the ductwork needs to be replaced.

Visit the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) to see a residential checklist of NADCA’s recommendations for what the air duct cleaning process should involve. You can also find NADCA-certified air systems cleaning specialists here. A person who is not qualified (or certified) to clean ductwork can do more damage to your system than having nothing done at all.



DIY Alert: You Can Insulate Your Pipes

DIY on how to insulate your pipes

Why should I insulate my pipes?

  • As discussed previously, insulating your pipes can keep them from freezing during a cold snap. Even if you hire the experts at Johns Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning to do it for you, it’s a relatively cheap insurance policy against the huge cost and mess of a flood.
  • Even without the risk of flood, insulating your pipes makes good financial sense. Uninsulated hot water pipes cause water to lose some of its heat as it travels through the pipes. But insulating the pipes allows you to lower your water heater temperature by four degrees without any change in the heat of the water when it reaches the faucets.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it only costs $10 to $15 to insulate your pipes, which results in a savings of $8 to $12 a year. This may not seem like much, but it adds up over the years, and the investment amortizes in just one year.
  • Insulating your hot water pipes also keeps water in the pipes warmer for longer, thus reducing the time you have to wait for heated water to flow from the tap if you turn it off for a few minutes and back on. This adds convenience, as well as helping to save water.

How do I insulate my pipes?

  • Foam pipe covers make insulating your pipes a breeze. Your local hardware store stocks several different diameters for different sized pipes, and you can cut the length to fit. Most pipe sleeves have a vertical slit down the side so you can easily slide them over your pipes. Some already have a sticky inside which adheres to the pipe, but you can secure the sleeve with duct tape, wire, or a clamp, and you’re ready to go.
  • Fiberglass spiral-wrap insulation looks a bit like shiny duct tape, but it’s not actually sticky. Secure one end of the insulation around the beginning of the pipe, and then wrap the pipe, overlapping each layer by about a half-inch. Secure the other end of the insulation at the end of the pipe.