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Andy Alvarez
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The Inspector Newsletter
April 2015: HVAC and Duct Systems
Maintenance Matters

Maintenance Matters

Don’t Forget This on Your Spring Cleaning List

Spring is here, and you probably have your spring cleaning underway. As you’re washing windows, airing out the house and cleaning up the yard, take a few minutes to pay attention to an area that’s kept you warm all winter. That’s right, your air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators may need a cleaning, too. When these are dirty, they won’t heat or cool effectively, and you’ll spend more money on energy.

To clean these, you’ll need to remove any covers. Then, remove visible (large) debris. Finally, use the soft brush attachment and vacuum the remaining dust, crumbs and debris. Replace the covers and wipe the surface clean.

While you’re cleaning the air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators, take a few seconds to make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpet or drapery, which could cause a fire.

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Did You Know?

What’s a BTU?

A common measure of power, the British thermal unit — or BTU — is the amount of energy needed to cool or heat one pound of water by one degree. One BTU is roughly equivalent to burning one 4-inch kitchen match. That doesn’t sound like much, but the typical home uses approximately 100 million BTUs annually. Around 44 percent of the total is used for heating.

BTUs are typically used as a measurement in the power, steam generation, heating and air conditioning industries. They are also used as a measure of agricultural energy production, i.e., BTU/kg.

So what’s a BTU? One BTU is equivalent to the following:

  • .293074 watt hours
  • 252 to 253 calories (little calories)
  • .25 kilocalories (large or food calories)

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One British thermal unit (BTU) is approximately how many kilojoules (kJ)?

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Submit your answer to your local NPI/GPI inspector to find out if you’ve won.

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