Fredericksburg Parent

July 2019

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38 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • July 2019 Ask the Expert a sk t h e e x p e rt Robert B. Payne, Inc. has been installing and main- taining heating, air condi- tioning and ventilation sys- tems in the Fredericksburg region since 1930. Those decades of experience make the company a wealth of knowledge when it comes to keeping your home com- fortable during summer's hottest days. Owner Robert B. P. Thompson is our July expert. Be sure to catch his interview with more tips for homeowners on our Facebook Live feed later this month. Q: Many of us have experienced one part of our house being colder or warmer than another. What are some possible ways to identify or solve what might be causing that problem? First of all, you have to determine whether the mechanical side of the system is working the way it's supposed to. Sometimes it's as simple as the registers not being open because a homeowner had adjusted them in the winter and not readjusted in the summer to get full airflow. Or the thermostat could be in the wrong place to gauge the temperature in the house. It's also important to pay attention to where your returns are. Years ago, homes were built with a separate return in every room. These days, it's more common to have a single return that several rooms feed into. When that is the case, it's important to keep the doors open so that air can circulate properly. So, if you are closing your bedroom doors at night, that can have a big impact on the tempera- ture of the rooms in your home. But it can also be more complicated than that. It could be an under- sized or pinched duct. Leaking ductwork is another potential cause. Getting the right airflow into the different rooms in a house is a mathematical exercise. You do a series of calculations to determine how much air is needed, and then we can actually measure the air with a meter to see how much air is being delivered and compare it based on what has been calculated. This is a complex process, but our years of experience have given us an expertise in troubleshooting these kinds of problems. We do always make sure the homeowner understands that fixes are not always simple or inex- pensive. Sometimes a homeowner will have to make a judgment call over comfort versus money, but we try to walk them through the process and give them as much information as they can about how to best condi- tion the air in their home. INTERVIEWED BY EMILY FREEHLING Q: For homes with an addition or a finished attic, what are good solutions for cool- ing and heathing these spaces? Quite often for these kinds of spaces, a ductless mini-unit is the best solution. These are free-standing units that have their own thermostat and con- trols, and can be serviced on the maintenance program that covers the rest of your heating and air system. They eliminate many of the problems that can come with heating and cooling these kinds of spaces, like concealing or hiding duct- work and wiring for additional thermostat. We find that this is the best solution and we are getting rave reviews on how quiet, efficient, comfort- able and happy they are with ductless systems. We're also installing ductless minisplits in new homes, eliminating the need for any ductwork. HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING ROBERT B. PAYNE, INC.

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