Should I Add a Ventilator to My AC/Heating System?

February 20, 2021

If you’ve noticed that the air in your South Central Texas home is often stale, sutffy or smelly, you might be wondering if a ventilator would help. Home ventilation is essential for indoor air quality, comfort and health. Consider these pros and cons of using a ventilation unit in your home. Indoor Air Quality Adding active or mechanical ventilation to your home could improve your indoor air quality. This is important if your household includes anyone with allergies, asthma or another respiratory disorder. Ventilators exhaust the stale, particle-filled air from your home and bring in fresh air from the outdoors. The fresh air is filtered before it reaches your living spaces. Is Natural Ventilation Enough? Small cracks and holes in homes can provide some level of natural ventilation. However, these are the same opening you want to seal to help your energy efficiency. Natural ventilation in a home is also often unpredictable and beyond a homeowners’ control, especially during extreme outdoor temperatures and weather. Utility Bills If you install balanced, exhaust or supply ventilators, your heating and cooling costs could increase. Installing an energy or heat-recovery ventilator will lower your heating expenses, but these systems cost more to install. In...

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Why Do I Have Mold in My Air Ducts?

February 10, 2021

Having mold in your air ducts isn’t a rare occurrence. There are multiple ways this can happen to you. Signs of Mold One sign of mold in your air ducts is a musty smell in your house after your HVAC system comes on. You may see visible mold in your air conditioner’s drip pan. Another sign is if your family develops symptoms like nausea, itchy eyes and headaches. Oversized AC Unit Having an AC/heating system that is too big for your home can also result in mold in your air ducts. An oversized AC unit may cool your home too quickly, which means it doesn’t have time to dehumidify your home. This can lead to moisture building up in the air ducts, which creates an ideal place for mold to grow. GVEC of Gonzales, TX, installs HVAC systems. We always make sure we install the right size unit for your home. Temperature Set Too Low If you set your temperature too low when cooling your home, mold can grow around the vents. The vents are where warm and cool air meet, which can cause condensation on surfaces. If the surfaces don’t get the chance to dry out, mold will grow....

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How Does a Dehumidifier Work, and Would My South Central Texas Home Benefit from One?

January 20, 2021

High humidity during summer can make your South Central Texas home an uncomfortable, sticky and sweaty place. If the humidity gets too high, your body won’t be able to use evaporative cooling (i.e, sweating) as effectively to lower the temperature of your skin. Generally speaking, modern AC/heating systems are designed to effectively dehumidify the home as part of the cooling process. In other words, removing moisture from the air is an essential function used by modern central air conditioners to achieve a comfortable temperature. However, in an environment as typically and consistently humid as our part of Texas, it wouldn’t be unusual for certain areas of the home to have less-than-ideal humidity levels, especially bathrooms, walk-in closets, garages and other, similar spaces. For these kinds of trouble spots, a home dehumidifier can help maintain proper moisture levels, making those areas more comfortable. Pulling Water From Air Dehumidifiers can remove large amounts of water from the air while still keeping everything at the right temperature. Incoming air passes over cooling coils and has its temperature dropped significantly. Since cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air, the water condenses out of it and onto the pipes and is collected...

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Three Reasons to Change Your AC/Heating Filter More Often

January 10, 2021

While it can be easy not to think about, there are three good reasons why you might need to change your AC/heating filter more often than you currently do. Keep in mind that different HVAC filters are rated for different usage spans. The majority are rated for 1, 3, 6 months. If your filter is rated 1 month, you’ll want to change it every month, year-round. However, because conditions in every home and individual AC/heating system are unique, even if your filter is rated for 3 or 6 months, we recommend checking it at least once a month and changing it as needed if it’s dirty. Here are three reasons why changing your filter more often can be beneficial. 1. HVAC Systems Can Last Longer with Clean AC/Heating Filters When the filter is clean, your heater and air conditioner don’t have to work as hard as when the filter is dirty. An excessively dirty filter allows more dust and particulates to work their way into the delicate parts of your AC/heating system, which can lead to overheating and other problems. In the long term, this can significantly shorten the lifespan of your system. It’s much less expensive to regularly replace...

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What is Mechanical Ventilation? How Does it Affect Indoor Air Quality?

December 19, 2020

While a lot of thought is given to regulating the temperature of the air in your home, there is often less thought given to the quality of that air in terms of particulates, pollution and pathogens. However, home air quality is just as important as air temperature; in some respects, it’s more important. Modern AC/heating systems are designed to not only cool or warm indoor air, but also to keep that air at a minimum level of safe breathability. One of the primary ways AC/heating systems achieve this minimum air quality standard is through a process known as mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation expels indoor air from the home and replaces it by drawing outdoor air into its place. The process is continuous throughout an AC/heating system’s operation. The ventilation function of modern AC/heating systems is so critical to their operation that “HVAC” stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.” Indoor air quality can be further improved many times over when the mechanical ventilation of an AC/heating system is paired with an in-duct air filtration system. In-Duct Air Filtration Depends Mechanical Ventilation At GVEC, we are proud to offer quality indoor air-filtration solutions that attach directly to the home AC/heating system....

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I think I May Have Mold in My Air Ducts? How Can I Know for Sure?

December 9, 2020

The unseen world inside your air ducts can hide multiple problems. Among the most serious of these is mold growth. In some cases, it can be hard to know for sure whether you have mold growing in your air ducts. To help determine if this is a problem, we at GVEC AC/Heating services recommend taking the following steps. 1. Do You Smell Mold? When? How Frequently? A tell-tale sign of mold growth is the musty smell that often accompanies its appearance. If you’ve noticed this smell in your home, we encourage you to carefully consider exactly when you notice it. If you notice such an odor all the time, the problem may extend beyond your air ducts, with mold growing elsewhere in the HVAC system or in the home. However, if you only notice the smell when your HVAC system is running, this is more likely to mean that the mold is growing in your air ducts. 2. Look for Mold Around the Edges Although the interior of your ductwork isn’t visible, the vents in your home are easy to see. Therefore, you can use the vents to “take the temperature” of your home’s ducts to see if you may...

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What Does the HVAC Tonnage Number Mean?

November 20, 2020

If it’s time to replace your AC/heating system, you’ll want to be sure that your unit is strong enough to keep your home in South Central Texas comfortable without being so powerful that it has to constantly turn off and on. While we at GVEC are happy to help with this calculation to ensure your system is properly sized for your home, it’s still good to understand some basic terms related to air conditioning. Although the SEER rating of a specific system is an important place to start, the tonnage of a particular system is also important to consider. It All Comes Down to BTUs Although the concept of air conditioning is fairly new, the idea of energy transfer is quite old. Since an air conditioning system is essentially just a sophisticated energy-transfer system, the terms related to energy transfer apply. That’s why BTUs play an important role in determining the tonnage of a given system. Essentially, the tonnage measurement of an HVAC unit is the amount of heat a system can remove from a space in an hour, which is based upon a predetermined formula derived from how much energy it takes to melt a literal ton of ice...

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What is a Mini Split AC System?

November 10, 2020

If you have a space in your Guadalupe Valley home and you want to control the temperature independently, a mini-split air conditioner may be just what you need. These unique systems provide efficient cooling and heating for small homes, specific areas in large homes, and anywhere you need a little extra cooling and heating capacity. As a trusted supplier of these units, we at GVEC are happy to provide you with some basic information to help you understand if one could help you. No Ducts The biggest difference between a mini-split AC system and a typical central air conditioning unit is that a mini-split system doesn’t use ducts. Instead, the unit itself is mounted on a wall in the room you want to keep cool. Then, as the unit creates cool air, it disperses it directly into the room through vents that are built into the unit. Similar, Just Smaller Similar to a central air conditioner, a mini-split system has two units: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit contains the condenser that begins the process of cooling the refrigerant after it’s been compressed. Then, the refrigerant is sent inside to further condense to the point that...

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Five Common HVAC Myths Debunked

October 26, 2020

A wealth of information is available online and in other places regarding repairs and maintenance to an HVAC system. However, the variety and high number of views and opinions available increase the importance of separating factual information from fiction. With this point in mind, we decided to debunk a few of the most common HVAC system myths. 1. Turning Off Your AC/Heating Unit Saves Money Many homeowners may find it tempting to shut down their AC/heating system completely when away from home, especially if leaving for a long trip such as a vacation. At GVEC, we recommend against this practice. Instead, we suggest setting your thermostat to a point just a bit beyond settings you’d use if anyone was home. This is especially important during the hottest and coldest months of the year. The reason is simple: Starting your HVAC system from a complete shutdown is similar to flooring a car’s accelerator from a dead stop. You’ll burn through much more energy by consistently running a machine this way while increasing overall wear-and-tear on the system. It’s better to let your AC/heating system work its way up or down from a less extreme starting point. 2. Bigger Means Better With...

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Thinking About Insulation as Wintertime Draws Near

October 16, 2020

Colder weather is on the way here in South Central Texas, so now’s the time to get your home ready. During colder months, a lack of insulation can allow warm air from your heating system to leak out and colder air from outdoors to get into your home. (In summer, insufficient insulation can lead to a reversal of this problem, with cold air leaking from the home and warm air seeping in.) With this blog, we aim to help homeowners better understand the types of insulation available for their homes in anticipation of coming winter weather. Blanket Insulation Blanket insulation—which is also called batt insulation or roll insulation—is usually made of fiberglass, plastic, mineral wool or natural fibers. This kind of insulation is used in unfinished spaces, such as attics. Blanket insulation is also a good choice for walls and foundations. Loose Fill or Blown-In Insulation Loose-fill insulation, also known as blown-in insulation, may be made of fiberglass, natural fibers or mineral wool. This insulation type is a good choice for hard-to-reach areas and for adding extra insulation to a space that needs additional protection against leaks of inside air and intrusion of outside air. Loose-fill insulation can be blown...

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