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Fire Sale: Our mistake is your benefit!

These eight units from Heil, Trane, Daikin and Goodman pictured below were ordered incorrectly and we didn’t find out until we brazed them in place.  Since the items were already out of the box, we could not return them.  We will warranty all of these units with our standard warranties as well as discount each unit by 35%.  Our comfort solution advisor must come to your home (at no charge) to ensure these units will work for your property’s needs.  Call our office at 803-260-HEAT for more details or click here. Hurry as these deals will not last!

Ductwork Blues

Moving into the residential HVAC world, I have found one of the biggest problems that we are facing that is nearly an epidemic, is the misuse of products in the heating and cooling world.  I know what is happening.  Schools are teaching kids about being doctors, lawyers, school teachers, police officers, chefs, firefighters, and ballerinas.  Though these are all admirable jobs, they aren’t all the jobs in the world.  The HVAC industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in the US alone and as other countries are coming on-line to first world status, they want that little luxury that has become a necessity that Willis Carrier invented in the very early 1900’s.

The heating and cooling industry has its best and brightest in the engineering of equipment and in the heavy industrial and commercial market.  Residential seems to get the leftovers in large part.  The lackeys that say to themselves, “I can do it better than my boss-man” after three years of work and a chip on their shoulder, go and grab a 1987 Chevy van, slap on a logo and start creeping through neighborhoods.  Now, I am a huge fan of the American dream, but these folks bypass the appropriate license, insurance, taxes, and permits.  They pay their folks under the table and life is gravy until something they did goes wrong.  And what do they do when it goes wrong?  They throw away their pre-pay cell phone, go wipe off the business name on the van, pick up a new phone and draw a new logo and find new neighborhoods.

The units themselves are fairly dummy proof and if the warranties with the manufacturer are actually set-up you should be fine.  Where I see a lot of the problems are all the things that attach to the unit: misran gas line, misran condensate line, incorrect power whip, and the biggest offender: miss-ran ductwork.

Things to know when replacing your ductwork:

  1. Do not allow scatter boxes to be used in your home. This is a big box that is built and then every piece of duct work is just attached from that one box to all the grilles in your home.
  2. Insure the returns are big enough where the filtered media has to be big enough as the air will be slowed dow). Things that are in the way of the air moving freely create static in the system and the fan in your unit has to overcome this.
  3. The ductwork should be sized with what is called a ductulator, predetermined duct sizes based on air flow and static.
  4. None of the lines should sag or kink. Think of a drinking straw that has a bend or crease in it. It is harder to blow the spit balls through them at your arch nemesis.
  5. Ductwork should not sit on the ground
  6. Ductwork should be taped and mastic sealed.
  7. Duct lines should be ran straight with minimum bends
  8. Main trunk lines should neck down in order to maintain constant pressure throughout the system
  9. Turning veins should be incorporated in the main trunk where bends may happen. If large legs are being run, then consider turning veins here as well.

Please note:  The pictures in this blog are from homes where we properly installed the systems.

What happens when this isn’t run correctly?

  • Shorter run life of the equipment as it must work harder to get the air to and from the space
  • Sick homes and sick people (yes, dirty sock syndrome is a real thing along with mold)
  • Unwanted noise and critters
  • A nightmare for you and the actual professionals that you will have to call in to fix everything
  • Higher energy bills

 

Gas heat versus heat pump

I was recently asked what I recommend when replacing a unit; if one should go the route of a heat pump or gas heat when taking in consideration that we live in South Carolina (specifically Columbia… famously hot?).

My response was gas and this is why:

  1. Not taking into account that I am a residential heating and air contractor, my preference lends to the most simplistic form of measurement: I can truly feel the heat that comes from gas heat. Being acclimated to South Carolina, when I am cold, I want to be warm very quickly.
  2. We also see a serious storm or two that tends to knockout the power. Though this won’t help you due to needing power to blow the heat throughout the home, if you went ahead and got the gas logs when you were putting in the gas furnace, then you are good to go (I know this is a stretch, but it has come in handy for me).
  3. Lastly, and admittingly I am holding on for this to actually happen, America sits on one of the greatest supplies of natural gas. Whether you like him or not, President Trump has pushed heavily for dependence on resources and utilities (hence why the Dow Jones keeps running up since his inauguration).

If your home requires multiple units (upstairs and downstairs), then may I suggest gas heat for downstairs and a heatpump for upstairs.  When we do new construction on custom homes, this is the route I recommend and that we almost always go.  Just be sure that if you do decide to go with gas heat that you have a carbon monoxide detector (we keep them on our trucks if we are at your home and you need one).

There are also solutions like dual fuel units and geothermal.  We can get into those more later.

Lastly, heatpumps have come a long way in technology and are pretty impressive with their ability to pull warmth on frigid nights.  Just be sure your electric strip heat is sized properly to bail you out if the heatpump can’t keep up.

Sweaty Ductwork

I love that scene in “Along Came Poly” when Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ben Stiller challenge two other guys to a friendly game of basketball.  If you remember, Ben’s character gets matched up to the gentleman that Philip’s character refers to affectionately as “Sasquatch.” The name plays well with his physique, as he is rather rotund and covered in hair.  You discover this when he removes his shirt to make himself more agile and aerodynamic as he matches up with Ben Stiller. There is that epic scene when the sweaty Sasquatch goes up for a layup and Ben gets stuffed as he tries to hold his ground.  The end result is Ben’s face plants into this guy’s hairy, sweaty, jiggly stomach.  Ben executes a perfect look of disgust as the sweat drips from his lip.

Like Sasquatch, ductwork can also sweat in crawlspaces and attics.  What’s going on with this?  Why is it happening?  Can it be fixed?

Usually when ductwork is sweating the same thing that happens to your glass of water when you are in a restaurant.  The temperature of the glass is below the dew point of the grains of moisture in the air, causing the water molecules in the air to slow down and attach themselves to the surface of the glass.  If your attic or crawlspace is hot or of high humidity or both, then the same thing happens to your ductwork.

The normal cause of this happening is a dirty filter.  What?  Something as simple as a dirty filter can cause something that can ruin my ceiling or cause mold growth or lower the life of my unit? Yes, yes, and yes.

Let’s do a mental exercise:  If your filter is dirty, what is happening?  It is harder for air to pass through (ironically your filter is actually picking up more particulates when it is dirty).  Less air means the volume of air passing through your coil is slower.  Imagine taking your hand and dunking it quickly into a cold glass of water, if you felt your hand it would barely change temperature.  But if you took your hand and slowly put it in the cold water, let it set for a few seconds and then pull it back out, you would feel a noticeable difference in your hands surface temperature.  Well, as the air passes through the coil it gets colder than it normally would (by the way, you are killing your fan as it works to overcome the static of a dirty filter).  That colder air then passes through ductwork with insulation (usually R-8) that is sized for the temperature delta of the cold air in the duct and the hot air outside the duct, the end result?  Sweating duct.

A more difficult problem to remedy is that your ductwork is undersized or not sealed properly or insulated correctly.  These all can be fixed but it isn’t nearly as simple as replacing a dirty filter.

If you run into this problem, and need some help, give us a call, we are a licensed and insured residential and commercial HVAC provider in Columbia, South Carolina.

ASAP Heating and Air Acquires GreenHome Solutions

ASAP Heating and Air announces its expansion with the acquisition of GreenHome Solutions. ASAP Heating and Air knew the importance of advancing its HVAC company through a buy out as a smart path for growth. With the opportunity to cultivate complementary core businesses, the cutting edge company now provides increased knowledge with a diversified staff, world-class technology capabilities, and enhanced customer service as it brings together the expertise of two thriving companies. GreenHome Solutions’ former owner Ryan Hudson has taken on the responsibility of President for ASAP’s expanded entity.

“With vast experience and a lot of forward thinking ideas, Ryan and GreenHome Solutions were a perfect fit for ASAP as we ventured to push the residential and light commercial envelope in the local Columbia market,” said ASAP Heating and Air owner Lander Cason. “Our goal with this acquisition was to create a new sector of engineering, design, and customer focus which the industry had not yet seen in this market.”

Ryan Hudson started his professional career at Mechanical Engineering Consulting Associates (MECA Inc.) after earning his bachelor’s degree in computational physics with a minor in mathematics from Francis Marion University.  While working full time for MECA, Ryan earned his master’s degree from the University of South Carolina in theoretical physics with emphasis in business management.  With an interest in thermal dynamics, Ryan went on to work in the heavy industrial sector of Carrier Corporation for over a decade where he was one of the highest sales producers in the nation.  While there, he founded GreenHome Solutions, a technology-based residential heating and cooling company that saw significant growth in its two years of existence.

A leader with a strong reputation in comprehensive HVAC services, ASAP Heating & Air is at the forefront of serving residential and commercial customers in the greater Columbia, SC area. With a concern for the local community and environment, all of ASAP’s experienced service technicians and engineering professionals are licensed, insured and have years of heating and air conditioning experience to deliver a better service experience for its customers. Offering the latest technology as well as energy saving solutions, ASAP Heating and Air is one of Columbia’s top heating and cooling comfort resources.

For additional information, interviews or photos, please contact Lorrie Dixson Griggs of Eskimo Advertising at lorrie@eskimoadvertising.com. For more information about ASAP Heating & Air, visit www.asap-mech.com.