Dirty air ducts are home for pollen and dust

“Every couple of years everybody should get their ducts cleaned,” said Vice President of TEM Environmental and Mechanical Services Tom McKechnie.

He and his wife Gabel’s air conditioning company is five-years-old and specializes in both commercial and residential work, as well as LEED-certified duct work for the new city hall, Glynn Archer and Stock Island Fire Station. He said work on LEED-certified buildings means recycling everything possible and using the most efficient equipment on the market, which is constantly changing.

“A unit that is 6- to 7-years-old is 25 percent as efficient as a new unit, meaning if it the electric bill is $100 it can be reduced to $25, $35 or $45 depending on the home,” Tom said.

In the Keys, air conditioning costs make up the bulk of an electric bill. Keys Energy is currently offering a $250 rebate for customers who buy more energy-efficient units. However, inefficient units are not the only way homeowners are losing money. TEM also offers home energy audits to help homeowners determine where and how energy is being lost. Sometimes there are holes in insulation and ductwork because of rodents. Rats and mice love fiberglass, according to Tom.

One of the most routine jobs done by the TEM team is duct cleaning. Air conditioning ducts are littered with dead skin, spider webs, grease, pollen, hair and much more — substantially reducing the air flow and efficiency of an air compressor. The buildup can cause homeowners’ allergies to act up. Allergies are most active in the summer months due to the warm, humid environment.

“If the air feels heavy and stale, getting the ducts cleaned is like the difference between night and day,” he said, adding another sign of poor air quality in the home is the buildup or black or brown dirt on the air conditioning vent.

Gabel said the most important detail about the company is how they treat the customers.

“Our biggest commitment is to our customer. If we say we are going to do something we do it and do it on time. Quality is important and we make sure the job is done right,” she said.

TEM Environment and Mechanical Services is located at 3210 Flagler Ave. The office number is 305-984-2683 and the website is www.temenviromech.com.

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