Archive for the ‘Indoor Air Quality’ Category

Which Type of Ductwork Is Best?

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

At General Air Conditioning, we offer a special service: custom duct design. Most people think of their ductwork as something static: one type fits all. However, this isn’t the case. Every home needs ducts tailored to fit its unique design, and there isn’t a pre-fabricated ductwork system an installer can simply drop into your home and hook up to an air conditioner or a heater. Ductwork consists of sealed passages where air from an HVAC system flows to vents without losing pressure. Once, all ductwork was made of sheets of galvanized steel, but now there are different options available. We’ll go over the major ones.

Please remember that making a choice about ductwork installation requires input from professionals. The Helotes, TX ductwork experts at General Air Conditioning can steer you to the best choice.

Sheet metal ducts: The old standard, and what most people think of when they hear the word “ducts.” (That, and movie action heroes crawling around inside them.) Most sheet metal ducts consist of 30 gauge galvanized steel. This type of ductwork is extremely durable, but it’s also the most difficult to install in a new building.

Flexible ducts: These sometimes work in tandem with sheet metal, branching off from the main duct like octopus arms to reach the vents. They are usually made from a folding plastic material with insulation surrounding it. The obvious advantage they have is adaptability to most spaces. Their drawback is that they are susceptible to leaks because of improper installation.

Duct board: This is the simplest type of duct. Essentially, duct board is fiberglass insulation with an outer protective foil or fabric layer. Although duct board isn’t strong and can damage easily, it does offer high insulation levels, weighs very little, and is inexpensive. Because duct board has exposed insulation on the inside, it can collect dust rapidly.

You will need ductwork installation experts to examine your home and determine which type (or types) of duct will fit best with the space in your house. The kind of HVAC system you have or plan to have installed will also affect the decision. At General Air Conditioning, our experience with custom duct design makes us an ideal choice to handle all your ductwork issues in Helotes, TX. Call us today for an appointment.

San Antonio, TX Air Purifiers: Common Home Air Contaminants

Monday, April 8th, 2013

As the temperatures begin to rise and summer approaches in San Antonio, TX, homeowners throughout the area are beginning to check their air conditioning systems to make sure that they’re ready to perform well all summer long. While your cooling is no doubt critical to your comfort this summer, equally important is your indoor air quality. If your home has high humidity levels, or you experience stuffy and uncomfortable air, then you should consider taking advantage of an indoor air quality solution, such as an air purifier in order to achieve lasting comfort this summer. For San Antonio, TX air purifiers, call the experts at General Air Conditioning today!

Let’s look at a few of the most common home air contaminants:

  • Dust mites. Dust mites are small, nearly invisible insects that feed on organic detritus, like human skin flakes and pollen, and live within bedding, carpeting, and other areas of your home. While they do not bite, they do tend to produce allergic reactions. If your home has high humidity levels, then you are providing a breeding ground for the production of dust mites. Air purifiers reduce mite production by eliminating much of what they need to survive.
  • Mold spores. Mold is easy to spot when it’s in the corner of your shower pan, or around the kitchen faucet, but it’s far less recognizable when it’s in your ductwork or between the walls. Mold can produce severe allergic reactions, including skin irritation.
  • Pollen. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, then you should consider an air quality solution such as an air purifier. While we think of our indoor living space as a reprieve from the outdoors, if you have high levels of pollen circulating throughout your ductwork or in your home, then it can cause your allergies to flare up all summer long.
  • Animal dander and hair. No matter how much you love your pets, you may be tired of dander and animal hair circulating through your ducts and vents, whether you have an allergy or not. A HEPA filter can dramatically reduce such problems.

Whatever type of air purifier you choose, whether mechanical or electronic, make sure it’s professionally installed. For more information about San Antonio air purifiers, call General Air Conditioning today!

The Importance of Humidity Control in San Antonio, TX

Monday, April 1st, 2013

As you probably know, your air conditioner dehumidifies the air as part of its cooling process. Your return ducts extract the hot air from your house where it is cooled by the refrigerant in the air handler. As part of this process, some moisture is removed from your air. However, during the peak heat of the summer, the humidity can often be overwhelming, and you may find that you need additional humidity control. For extensive indoor air quality services, including whole house dehumidifiers in San Antonio, TX, call General Air Conditioning today!

Here are some reasons why humidity control is so important in your home:

  • To prevent mold and dust mites. Mold (as well as the dust mite) thrives in conditions of high relative humidity. Mold is a microbial growth that inhabits dark and moist areas of the home, especially those surrounding your indoor plumbing. Unfortunately, however, mold can often inhabit areas of your home you may never see. Mold growth behind walls and inside ductwork can be irritating and potentially dangerous to those with respiratory conditions.
  • To improve home comfort. While nothing beats a cool temperature inside the home during a steamy afternoon in July, dehumidification can actually decrease your need to blast the AC. Part of the reason is due to the sensation of being hot. When humidity is high, your body must work harder to cool itself by sweating. A combination of cooling and dehumidification is not only the most comfortable option, but it may also reduce how much energy you spend on cooling alone.
  • To reduce moisture in the home. You may notice excessive moisture on the walls or floors in your home during the summer; or perhaps your towels often fail to entirely dry. A whole house dehumidifier allows you to avoid worrying about such problems, which can be both annoying and potentially harmful to wood, fabric, and furnishings in your home.

Consider a humidity control device this summer if you want to improve your comfort and reduce the problems associated with high humidity in the home. For San Antonio, TX dehumidifiers, call the indoor air quality experts at General Air Conditioning today!

Benefits of Duct Sealing in San Antonio, TX

Monday, March 25th, 2013

You may have never thought about it but all of the air that travels through your furnace, heat pump or central air conditioning system has to go through your duct work. Over time, with all the use that your ducts get they can start to develop holes or cracks. This can cause much of your heated or cooled air to leak outside. Contact the San Antonio, TX duct sealing experts at General Air Conditioning if you suspect that your home’s ductwork is leaking. We wanted to put together some of the benefits of having hyour ducts sealed in order to educate our community.

Increased Efficiency

Obviously, one of the main benefits of sealing up your ductwork is that it could increase the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning systems. In some cases, up to 30% of the air passing through your ducts can be leaked outside. This is a huge waste of energy that you’re paying for. When you seal up your ducts more of that air and energy will stay in the ducts and, ultimately, in your home.

Increased Air Quality

Another fantastic benefit to sealing up your ducts is that you might be able to keep unwanted air contaminants from entering your home. Bacteria and mold can often get inside of your ducts through holes and leaks in them. Also, rodents and insects can enter your ductwork through the holes and leaks in it. When you seal up your ducts those types of pests and pollutants can potentially be kept out.

What Causes Duct Leaks?

Your ducts are just there to channel air into your home which seems like a pretty simple task that wouldn’t produce much wear and tear. The cause of duct leaks often isn’t the air passing through the ducts but more often is an outside force or the passage of time. If you have old ducts whey could be dried out, deteriorating or rusting (if you have metal ducts). Also, if your ductworks was installed poorly it can lead to wear or tear on the ducts over time from small movements.

Contact the San Antonio, TX duct sealing professionals at General Air Conditioning for all your duct repair needs.