iAir Services Blog: Archive for October, 2014

How Does Duct Sealing Help with Heating?

Friday, October 31st, 2014

If you own a forced-air system like a furnace or heat pump for heating, you may not always get the performance you need from your ducts. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, ducts are responsible for up to 30% of energy loss from HVAC systems in a majority of homes in the United States. The ductwork gets a lot of use over the years and may develop cracks or tears from standard usage alone. And with flexible ductwork, it may also develop kinks or parts may even collapse.

Duct sealing is a vital part of owning a forced-air heating or air conditioning system as it can help you save energy, among other advantages. Learn more about how scheduling a professional to test and seal your ducts may benefit you.

  • Increased Comfort: As air leaks from the ducts, it cannot adequately reach the desired temperature quickly enough. This means your family members are less comfortable throughout the day. Make sure that most of the warm air that your heating system produces reaches your home by scheduling duct repair.
  • Energy Savings: When air leaks from your ducts, it moves into unoccupied areas of the house, such as the attic or a small crawlspace. However, you’re still paying on your utilities for the heat that is created. Save money by sealing ducts in areas where heat may escape.
  • Reduce Heating Repairs: As warm air escapes through other areas of the home, your heating system works even harder to get your house to the correct temperature. This means parts get extra wear and tear, causing frequent breakdowns and repair needs.
  • Extend the Lifespan of Your Furnace or Heat Pump: The wear and tear that your heating system develops due to leaks and cracks in the ducts may cause it to fail before its intended lifespan.
  • Improve Indoor Air Quality: Finally, duct sealing can even prevent your heating system from circulating harmful pollutants in the air you breathe. Pollutants may enter the ductwork through these holes and cracks, allowing them to penetrate your home and aggravate any respiratory problems.

For quality duct sealing with professional tools and expertise, call the experts at Intelligent Air Services. We’ll help make sure you don’t pay extra for your heating services in Austin, TX with a thorough inspection and exceptional repairs.

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Gas Furnace vs. Electric Furnace – Which Is Better?

Friday, October 24th, 2014

If you’ve been shopping around for a new furnace lately, you may have noticed there are a couple of different selections to choose from. You’ll need a technician to help you choose the right model for your home as well as to select the proper size and ensure that everything is installed and in place as needed. But one big consideration always comes first: should you choose a gas-powered or electric furnace?

For many, this depends on the source of power available in the home. If you don’t have access to a gas line, you will obviously need an electric furnace or an alternate heating source. However, if you have the ability to install both, you’ll need to make a couple of considerations first. Let’s compare each type of system so that you can make an informed choice.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Both systems have a lot in common. They both distribute heat to your home in the same way, running it through the ducts so that it reaches your home through the vents. However, the way they generate heat is what sets them apart.

An electric furnace has a series of electric heating elements which rely on an electric current to heat up. Air is sucked in via a blower fan and heats up as it flows past the heating coils. Gas furnaces work much differently, but deliver the same level of performance. A gas furnace instead burns fuel in order to heat up a heat exchanger. Air moves over the heat exchanger to warm up before it makes its way into your home.

There are a couple of considerations to make before choosing one model or the other. For one, you may decide on an electric furnace because it generally costs less to purchase. However, in most areas of the country, the cost of electricity far exceeds the price of natural gas, so you’ll end up spending a lot more every month. On the other hand, an electric furnace may be safer. If the heat exchanger of a gas furnace cracks, there may be carbon monoxide in your home, or there is a risk of gas leaking from the gas line. Still, most people only choose electric if they do not have a gas line hookup.

For heating services in Austin, TX, call the experts at Intelligent Air Services today!

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The Benefits of Geothermal Heating

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Geothermal heating and cooling has been around for a long time, but with recent advancements in technology and products, it has become an increasingly popular way for homeowners to both heat and cool their homes. Geothermal systems offers a lot of benefits to homeowners, and understanding how the systems work will help you gain appreciation for this unique heating and cooling system. If you are concerned about the environment and want to have a sustainable and reusable fuel source for your heating, a geothermal system may be just what you’ve been waiting for. One thing to keep in mind is that the installation of geothermal systems requires professional knowledge and expertise, so call the people you can trust: Intelligent Air Services.

How Does a Geothermal System Work?

A geothermal system harnesses the steady temperature of the Earth just below the frost line to heat and cool your home. It does this via a ground loop made of very durable tubing that is buried in the ground of your yard. The tubing is filled with a solution that helps to absorb the heat from the Earth during the winter. A heat pump is used to facilitate the transfer of heat: in the winter, the heat pump takes the heat absorbed by the ground loop, concentrates it, and delivers it to the indoors of your home; in the summer, the heat pump transfers your indoor heat into the ground loop, where the Earth acts as a “heat sink” and absorbs the heat. There are no fossil fuels used by a geothermal system, and only a small amount of electricity is used for the heat pump.

Benefits of a Geothermal System

In addition to providing both heating and cooling, geothermal systems offer other important benefits:

  • Long lifespan – the tubing for geothermal systems lasts 25-50 years, and the heat pumps last an average of 20-25 years.  In comparison, combustion heating systems last about 15-20 years.
  • Very energy efficient – as stated above, geothermal systems use no fossil fuels and a very small amount of electricity, making them very energy efficient.
  • Very environmentally friendly – the small amount of electricity used for the heat pump, coupled with no greenhouse gas release, makes geothermal heating and cooling very environmentally friendly.
  • Comfortable heating and cooling – the air delivered in a geothermal system enters your home in a continuous, low-level flow. This makes both cooling and heating gradual and very comfortable.

Geothermal systems have tremendous longevity, energy efficiency and comfort. Think your home can benefit from geothermal heating? Then call the Austin, TX heating experts at Intelligent Air Services today!

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What Are the Benefits of Ductless Heating?

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Ductless heating systems, also known as ductless mini splits, are a way of using forced-air heating in a home without requiring a network of ducts to distribute the heated air. Instead, ductless systems use a single outdoor cabinet that hooks up directly to a series of blower units mounted throughout the house. The blowers contain their own coil and fan and send air straight into the rooms without needing any ducts at all.

Ductless mini splits are increasing in popularity in new homes for a number of reasons, some of which we will list below. To learn more about the benefits of ductless heating in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas, call the experts at Intelligent Air Services today.

Ductless Heating System Benefits

  • Energy efficiency: As heated air travels along ductwork, it will start losing energy through the duct walls. This will happen no matter the airtightness of the ducts (and if the ducts are leaky, the heat loss can be immense) and makes ductwork a less energy-efficient method of heating than finding a way to bypass them—such as using a ductless mini split system.
  • Zone control: Ductless heating saves energy in another way: it permits you to control which rooms receive heat and which don’t. The different blowers of a ductless mini split system can be controlled independent of each other, so empty rooms won’t need to have energy wasted heating them, which is what happens whenever a central heating system that uses ducts turns on.
  • More space and design freedom: If you are constructing a new home, adding on a new room, or having remodeling done, choosing to go with a ductless heating system frees up a large amount of space that would otherwise go to the ductwork. You will not only have more room, but you will also have greater freedom to design the new space just how you want it.
  • Heating and cooling in one package: Most ductless heating systems are heat pumps, which means they function both as heaters and air conditioners. They provide the same amount of cooling during the summer as any standalone air conditioning system of comparable size. When you invest in a ductless mini split, you are investing in year-round comfort, not just winter comfort.

Ductless heating does not work for some homes; if you already have an existing ductwork system and are not planning on new construction, a ductless mini split may not be the best choice for you. However, if you live in an older home without the room for ducts, or if you are building a new home/remodeling your current one, a ductless heating system is definitely worth your attention.

At Intelligent Air Services, we specialize in ductless heating in Austin, TX. Arrange an appointment with our technicians today to find out how we can make ductless heating work for you.

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How Does Heating Maintenance Increase Energy Efficiency?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

You know that regular heating maintenance is necessary for your heating system to have a long and healthy lifespan. You’ve probably also been told that a well maintained heating system is actually more efficient. How does heating maintenance actually increase energy efficiency, though?

Read on to discover the efficiency benefits associated with regular maintenance.

Easing Workload

There are a number of factors that can cause a heating system to breakdown without warning. In most situations, however, you will notice a slow decline of heating efficiency before the unit finally breaks down completely. This is because the vast majority of heating problems are progressive in nature. A problem may start small, but over time it will become more severe and start to affect other systems. A prime example is a refrigerant leak. Depending on the size of the leak, you likely won’t notice much of a difference when it first happens. The longer the leak goes untreated, however, the more your heating unit will struggle to keep up with demand.

Regular maintenance addresses this by preventing small problems from becoming an ever-growing strain on your heating unit. This increases your energy output because the heating unit never has to struggle (by consuming more energy) to accomplish its purpose.

Wear and Tear

Parts that are regularly maintained will last longer. Unfortunately, there comes a point where even the best kept system will start to wear away from use. The longer you use your heating system, the more its efficiency will decline. It may take a decade to become noticeable, but it will happen. Regular maintenance ensures that these parts are replaced before they ever become a problem. This saves you from the short drop in efficiency between when a problem occurs and when it can be diagnosed and fixed.

The better you take care of your heating system, the better it will take care of you. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your heating system checked, call Intelligent Air Services. We conduct heating maintenance all over the Austin, TX area. With our help, your heating system will stay energy efficient throughout its life.

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