Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning Blog: Archive for April, 2014

How Damage to Your Ductwork Affects Your Air Conditioner

Friday, April 25th, 2014

If you use a central air conditioning system to cool down your house during spring and summer, then ductwork plays a necessary part in its operation. It’s best not to think of the ducts as a separate unit away from the AC, but as an extension of it. Problems in your ductwork will become problems with your cooling and also with your air conditioner.

At Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning, we both air conditioning and ductwork services, so we know exactly how the two operate together and the types of maintenance and repairs they need. When you have ductwork damage, such as corrosion, holes, or gaps, call us right away for repairs. Keeping your ductwork in Lincolnwood, IL in good shape is an important part of keeping your air conditioner in good shape throughout the warm season.

What Ductwork Damage Can Do to Your Air Conditioner

There are three key ways that damage to your ductwork affects your AC:

  • Reduction in cooling power: When breaks form along the tight air seal of ductwork, it lowers the air pressure inside and reduces the airflow to the vents. You’ll experience a drop in cooling power that won’t disappear until the damage is repaired.
  • Lowered efficiency: The loss of air pressure does more than damage the air conditioner’s cooling; it also forces it to work harder, and this puts extra stress on the system. Warm, humid air can also start to enter the ducts, making it more difficult for the AC to reach its target temperature without straining. This drop in energy efficiency will mean higher bills and possibly early repair needs.
  • Dust and dirt infiltration: Breaks along ducts usually open onto closed-in and dusty parts of your homes, like between walls and in crawlspaces. Dirt, dust, sawdust, and other debris will be drawn into the ducts, making them dirtier and also threatening to enter the air conditioner’s cabinet. This will cause extreme wear and tear on the components and could easily cause malfunctions.

How to Repair Your Ducts

The secret to repairing your ductwork is to call professionals to do it! It’s difficult to access your ducts on your own, and commercial duct tape is never an effective solution. You will need duct repair specialists to perform testing to find the damaged portions, and then seal any holes or breaks using mastic sealant or metallic tape.

Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning started in business a hundred years ago, and we’re still around because of the quality of service we provide. To keep your ductwork intact and your air conditioning in Lincolnwood, IL running without a hitch, call our technicians today. We have 24-hour emergency service. Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment.

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Principles of Geothermal Heating

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Here in Morton Grove, IL, geothermal systems make a fascinating alternative to more traditional boilers and forced air furnaces. They’re not for everyone – they require certain specifics in your property and the up-front cost is often higher than other systems – but they offer a number of benefits in the right circumstances. The principles of geothermal heating make those advantages clear and can help you decide if such a system is right for you.

At its heart is an unchanging physical constant: the ambient temperature of the earth remains the same, no matter what the weather is like outside. Once you get below a few feet deep, the same temperature prevails in the winter as it does the summer. With that as a basis, the geothermal system can facilitate a heat exchange with the ground: pulling heat from it or bleeding heat into it depending on what you need. A series of hollow tubes is run through the ground, at least six feet deep or so, and a mixture of water and antifreeze is pumped through it. The mixture will pull ambient heat out of the ground when you need to warm your home, then bring it back inside where it can be distributed through your household.

Geothermal heating costs more to install because you need to uncover a fair amount of ground to put the tubing in. That takes time and personnel, which can up the costs. On the other hand, the tubing involves no moving parts which means repairs are very infrequent. Furthermore because no energy is used to create the heat – only to pump the fluids through the tubes – geothermal heating is very inexpensive to operate and saves a lot on monthly costs over more traditional forms of heating.

For more on the principles of geothermal heating, or to see if such a system is right for you, then give the experts at Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning a call. Geothermal systems are one of the things we do best, but we also offer other heating services in Morton Grove, IL as well. Give us a call today to discuss your options: we’ll help you through the ins and outs of this exciting form of heating technology!

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3 Advantages of a Modular Commercial HVAC System

Friday, April 11th, 2014

A commercial HVAC system is a complicated endeavor. It needs to support a large amount of square footage and keep both your customers and your business comfortable at all times. If you run a large building – with multiple floors and constant fluctuations in tenants – then you can go out of your mind trying to attend to all their needs. A modular system can be the perfect solution, and when it comes to commercial HVAC services, Northbrook, IL has experts who can help. Here are 3 advantages of a modular commercial HVAC system that you should consider when installing commercial air conditioning in your office.

  • Adaptable
    Modular systems contain a series of separate units, which can be added or removed from the system very easily. That means if your business grows and you need more air conditioning power, you don’t need to replace the whole system. You just need to add another modular unit. The versatility allows you maximum flexibility while ensuring that you’re never paying for more of a system than you need.
  • Space-saving
    Because commercial units are placed on the roof, you don’t need to use any valuable square footage on it. That leaves more room for storage, extra personnel or whatever your business needs to remain competitive.
  • Efficient
    Commercial HVAC systems are sturdy and reliable, which means they can handle the hottest days as well as the coldest nights. They’re built of solid materials, and can handle much larger loads to boot. While repairs are sometimes necessary, a regular schedule of maintenance and timely repairs will allow them to run for a good long line.

The advantages of a modular commercial HVAC system won’t mean much unless you have the right company for the job. And when it comes to professional HVAC services in Northbrook, IL, the experts at Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help. Our trained professionals can install a system that’s right for your business, and will be on hand to correct any problems or maintenance issues that crop up in the ensuing years. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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3 Types of Materials Used in Duct Repair

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Here in Chicago, duct repair services are standing by to help fix a breached or broken duct. Breaches can create all manner of problems for your HVAC system, from pulling unconditioned air into the system to spreading dust and debris throughout the home. Professionals can seal and repair any breaches in your ducts using a variety of materials. Unfortunately, duct tape is not among them. The shared word in the name leads some people to believe that duct tape can easily be used to fix breaches in their home’s ductwork. Duct tape, however, simply can’t stand up to the fluctuations in temperature, and normally only lasts a few days at the most. Here are 3 types of materials used in duct repair that professionals use to do the job.

  • Matching components
    Ducts are usually made of fiberglass, sheet metal and similar materials. When a breach occurs, a professional can simple use a shaped piece of material of the precise same composition of the duct itself to make repairs. That ensures that the new material won’t suffer from temperature and air flow fluctuations (or at least no more than the surrounding material).
  • Duct mastic or duct sealant
    This is a kind of paste that can be placed over the breach and used to seal it. Once applied, it hardens in place and seals the breach admirable. Duct mastic works best for small breaches (1/8 of an inch wide or smaller). Larger breaches usually demand a patch.
  • Sealing tape
    As stated above, duct tape doesn’t work for ducts. (We know: it’s ironic.) Instead, rely on tape brands that don’t use a rubber adhesive. Any kind of heat-resistant tape, such as foil tape or butyl tape, can be used. In particular look for any tape that carries the Underwriters Laboratories label.

Even with these materials used in duct repair, you still need the training and know-how to apply them. In Chicago, duct repair services can be provided by Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning. We have the knowledge and experience to seal your ducts properly, so don’t hesitate to give us a call today!

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Damage Caused by Refrigerant Leaks

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Refrigerant leaks are the bane of air conditioners and heat pumps of all shapes and sizes. The refrigerant gas is the source of the A/C’s cooling power, and it needs to be at certain set levels (which vary depending on the exact type of unit). When those levels drop – through a breach in the line, say, or similar loss – then the damage can cascade and eventually result in serious repairs. The good news is that here in Wilmette, IL heat pump repair services can fix the problem before the damage caused by refrigerant leaks can get too bad.

The biggest sign of a refrigerant leak is a build-up of ice on the evaporator coils. It doesn’t seem like much – isn’t an air conditioner supposed to be cold? – but in fact it can create as serious issue. It acts as an insulator between the refrigerant and the air it’s supposed to cool, keeping the system from functioning the way it should. The air conditioner or heat pump thus works harder to do its job, increasing the strain on every single component. The ice build-up only worsen since its insulating properties exacerbate the problem, until the entire unit stops producing cool air at all. In the meantime, numerous other components are apt to be damaged by the problem, caused by the strain of over-work and similar issues of wear and tear.

The ice itself can cause damage too, both to the evaporator coil and to any components vulnerable to water. When the system shuts off, the ice may melt, and the water will short out electrical motors and damage similar elements very easily.

Unfortunately, you can’t simply scrape the ice off, since it’s just a symptom of the actual problem. Instead, give the experts at Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning a call. We can handle the damage caused by refrigerant leaks, and will seal up the leak and recharge refrigerant levels so that the problem doesn’t repair. Heating system repairs in Wilmette, IL should be courteous and efficient and we stand by our pledge to leave you completely satisfied with our work. Call us today to make an appointment and let us show you how!

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