Archive for May, 2014

Why Are Commercial HVAC Systems Modular?

Friday, May 30th, 2014 by Lisa Pixley

At Alpha Air Corporation, we specialize in improving the air quality of homes and businesses through a variety of services. One of the most important—and complex—services we provide is work on the ventilation systems of commercial buildings, which includes duct cleaning and HVAC system decontamination.

Because of our extensive work with commercial cooling and heating, we often field questions from clients about them. One we hear often is, “Why are commercial systems modular?” Since residential HVAC systems almost always come as a single unit that hooks up to the ductwork, the commercial design of multiple modules seems a bit unusual. We’ll explain why commercial systems are designed this way.

Call us for service for your commercial air conditioning in St. Paul whenever you need cleaning, mold remediation, or restoration. We are proud members of the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association).

Why commercial systems are modular

One of the basic reasons that commercial systems are designed in separate modules is for easier construction and transportation. Some commercial HVAC systems are simply enormous; they have to be in order to cool down such large spaces with so many people. Making them modular allows for systems to be constructed and shipped in smaller parts.

In terms of the actual installation, modular systems allow for the job to go a piece at a time: this “phased installation” creates much less disruption or shutdowns, since the work must not all be done at the same time, but spaced out for greater convenience. A residential HVAC system can be installed in a few hours, and people don’t tend to worry about a “loss of business” in their homes. For a company, needing to close down for days during installation could be disastrous; phased installation removes this problem.

Modular systems allow for easy expansion as well. If a business adds on more space, or converts storage areas into offices and other work spaces, it will need a larger cooling load. Instead of purchasing and installing a new unit, a business can simply add on another 25-ton module to the current configuration.

Take good care of your commercial air conditioning in St. Paul, MN

A commercial AC must not only keep your customers, clients, and employees cool; it must also work without obstructions and the development of dust, dirt, or possibly worse contaminants. Schedule regular ductwork cleaning for your business’s HVAC system, and make sure that you only look to certified cleaners with a long history of working on commercial systems. The complexity of commercial HVAC makes them out of reach of residential cleaners.

Call Alpha Air Corporation today to schedule ventilation system cleaning for your business. We are also available 24 hours a day for emergency work.

Common Tools Used in Duct Sealing

Friday, May 16th, 2014 by Lisa Pixley

If you read the title of this posts and the words duct tape immediately came to mind, we’re not surprised. After all, the word “duct” is right in the name. However, duct tape is not designed for ducts. (Actually, it was originally known as duck tape, possibly because duck cloth was used to back it.) Laboratory tests done on duct tape have revealed that it rapidly fails when exposed to the temperature extremes inside a ventilation system and loses its adhesive ability.

Professional duct repair technicians use different tools to close off leaks in ventilation shafts. When you have ductwork with breaks that are affecting your HVAC system’s efficiency and lowering indoor air quality, call for experts with the right equipment to handle the job.

For your duct sealing in Duluth, MN, look to Alpha Air Corporation. We offer many services to protect your indoor air quality and keep your ventilation system in prime shape.

The tools of professional duct sealing

Along with replacement duct material for larger jobs (ductboard, flexible ducts), professionals principally use two tools to close leaks: mastic sealant and metallic tapes.

  • Mastic sealant: This resin-based adhesive can stick to many different surfaces—metal, glass, plastic, ductboard—and dries quickly with a smooth surface to reduce air resistance. Many duct repair technicians favor mastic sealant because it remains flexible even after it dries, and this is helpful for ducts because they expand and contract as the temperature inside them changes. Mastic is also resistant to temperature extremes, making it far superior to brittle duct tape. Duct sealers use a caulking gun to apply mastic onto duct leaks.
  • Metallic tape: There is a type of “duct tape” that professionals use, but it’s nothing like the soft cloth-backed duct tape you find in stores. Tapes made from a variety of metals are a popular choice in duct sealing; some professionals prefer them to mastic sealant. The metallic tapes are effective mechanical fasteners and have high durability, often outlasting mastic sealant. These tapes are usually made from aluminum with an acrylic or butyl adhesive.

For service on your ventilation system, you should rely only on National Air Duct Cleaners of America-certified technicians (NADCA), like those at Alpha Air Corporation. We offer 24-hour emergency service for when you need us, and we will bring the best equipment available to assist us in doing the best job possible for duct sealing in Duluth, MN.

What are the Stages of Duct Cleaning in the Twin Cities?

Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by Lisa Pixley

Make duct cleaning part of your regular spring cleaning routine. You can attack all the dust and dirt inside your home, and then turn over to professionals the job of attacking all the dust and dirt hidden within your home: inside the ventilation system. After a furnace duct cleaning in the Twin Cities, MN, you will not only have a cleaner home and a more efficient furnace, you will also have cleaner air that reduces allergy symptoms, respiratory problems, skin and eye irritation, and many conditions that will make you sluggish and tired.

We must stress the importance of having professionals handle duct cleaning: the job requires special equipment and knowledge that goes far beyond trying to use a broom and a rag. Duct cleaning technicians must access your entire ventilation network and remove pollutants that resist standard forms of cleaning. To show you the extent of the work involved, we’ll walk through the stages of a typical duct cleaning assignment.

Alpha Air Corporation has more than a decade of experience with quality ductwork cleaning. We use the latest technology to go beyond expectations.

Duct cleaning stages

  • System test: When duct cleaners first arrive at a home, they open the cabinet of the furnace and test the system to see if it operates normally. They then shut down the furnace.
  • Accessing the vents: The cleaners detach the blower unit from the furnace—the fan that sends air through the heat exchanger and then into the ducts—so they can have direct access to the ductwork.
  • Vacuuming: The technicians don’t use any ordinary vacuum for this job, but a high-power vacuum that changes the pressure throughout the ventilation system. The cleaners cut a hole into the main duct coming from the blower and seal one end of the vacuum onto it. The vacuum puts the system under “negative pressure” to agitate contaminants from the walls. Then its powerful suction collects the debris.
  • Rotary brushes: To provide deeper cleaning in other areas, the technicians use powered rotary brushes on long cables to reach inside vents and loosen any dirt and dust the power vacuum may have missed.
  • Deodorizing and sanitizing: Alpha Air Corporation can also supply a special safe sanitizing agent to ductwork that leaves behind no active chemical residue and has low toxicity. Along with cleaning, it also eliminates odors instead of covering them up.
  • Sealing and testing: Once all the cleaning is complete, the technicians seal the ducts and re-attach the blower motor to the furnace. They perform a final test to make sure there are no air leaks anywhere in the system.

Alpha Air Corporation can provide the furnace duct cleaning in the Twin Cities, MN that will make your ducts like new. We have experience that ranges from the simplest small house duct cleaning to full ventilation restoration from fire damage. Put our skills and tools to work for your home. Schedule a service appointment today.