• How to Clean a Ducted Heating and Cooling System

    man cleaning his air conditioning system When you live in a country that gets as hot as Australia does, or if you live in a city that gets as cold as Melbourne does, it’s no surprise that you’ll be using your ducted heating and cooling system quite regularly.

    We probably don’t spend too much time thinking about these systems and what goes on behind our walls. But that’s why we have to be alert to possible problems with the ducts. Show them the same love that they’ve shown you by giving the ducts a good clean every now and then.

    Why You Should Clean Your Ducted System

    The first reason why you should clean your ducts every 12 months is that their general functioning will not work if you do not maintain and keep them clean. More importantly, however, you need to make sure your system is operating within health and safety regulations. Any faulty system can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside the ducts and then spread through your house with the convection airflow. In addition, dust build up in the ducts can turn into a potential fire hazard.

    Clean the Ducts Yourself

    Unless there are any major problems with the way your system is working and functioning, you should be able to periodically take care of the dirty business of cleaning yourself. Keep an open eye for surprises, especially if you have children or pets running around the house. It’s not uncommon to find toys, food, colouring pencils and even bits of hair or dander in your vents. Here are a few ways to clean your ducts:

    • First remove the vent grates. Wash these in warm, soapy water and allow them to dry completely before you put them back.
    • If there has been a spill of some sort inside the vent and you see dirt that is different to dust, get a damp cloth and clean the area thoroughly. Then find a dry one and make sure not to leave behind any moisture.
    • Get a good-quality air filter to fit to your system. These can be used in the grates to trap dust and dirt. Change them twice yearly, or wash and dry them regularly.
    • When you remove the grates, remove any large debris by hand, and then gently vacuum away any remaining dust or particles carefully so you don’t damage the vent.

    When to Call a Professional Service

    There are just some types of duct problems that you shouldn’t attempt to solve on your own for the safety of your system and your home. Here are a few instances when you should get in touch with a professional:

    • Can you smell mould? Maybe you can see it. Mould is a problem and needs to be addressed immediately by a professional, otherwise it will recur.
    • If you’ve just moved into a new home, you should have someone take a look at your ducted system to make sure everything is on the up-and-up.
    • If you or someone in your family is experiencing allergic reactions, like sneezing, watery eyes and coughing, when the heat or air is on, there might be allergens or a build-up in your vents. Check with a doctor as well.
    • If you notice that dust and dirt is actually being released into your home, it’s time to call someone to get rid of all the excessive waste.
    • Hear a bit of rattling inside your ducts? You might have a pest problem. Rats, mice and insects can live in ducts, so if you’re having this problem, it is definitely time to call a professional.

    Call Jacob Refrigeration in Melbourne for a free quote on cleaning and maintenance services. We do same-day service calls and offer great warranty repairs on products that we’ve supplied and installed.

  • How Temperature can affect your Work Performance

    One of the most painful and frustrating facts of life that we’ve been accepting is that you can’t always control the temperature of your office. But what does that do to productivity levels? How can being so cold in the office that you have to type with gloves on change the way you think in general? Or how does sweating while you read a document affect you in a work environment?

    When it’s Too Cold to Think

    Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, did some research on the subject of being too cold in a work environment. When the temperature was around 20 degrees, employees made 44 percent more errors and were half as productive than when they were nice and warm at 25 degrees. The research found that when employees were cold, they were distracted, costing their employers 10 percent more per hour, per employee.

    Why were they dropping in attention? Because when our body temperature drops, we need to use more energy to keep warm, rather than put it to better use via concentration and inspiration.

    Psychologists have also recently discovered that colder temperatures have a lot to do with how we interact with others. When we’re cold, we perceive others as behaving coldly and in a less open manner. Physical warmth leads to emotional warmth and trust, contrarily. So it’s important in a workplace to have warm enough temperatures so that workplace relationships perform as smoothly as possible, as well.

    When it’s Too Hot to Function

    The golden office temperature for heightened productivity is somewhere between 22 and 25 degrees. Anything above or below that will lead to decreased productivity.

    Profile of man with glasses holding fan up to his face, his tie blowing out behind him.

    Working in an environment that is too hot can make workers lethargic and unfocused. Heat stress can cause the body to lose electrolytes and water faster, causing low mental performance and decreased motor skills. Your body will be trying to preserve energy, which will undoubtedly slow your minds, making completing tasks and avoiding errors a difficult feat.

    This is particularly problematic in workplaces where people are working in high temperatures with high humidity, poor ventilation and the use of heavy machinery and equipment that creates heat.

    What to do?

    If your office or workplace doesn’t already have ducted air systems, consider installing wall mounted split systems. They offer heating and cooling elements, are easy to install and maintain and are affordable and cost effective.

    While each business should budget heating and cooling costs effectively, paying for the right office temperature is an investment and will return to the employer in other ways, namely increased worker productivity. To discuss what air conditioning or heating unit is right for your office in Melbourne, contact Jacob Refrigeration today.