Tech Articles


Owning a home is the single most important investment most of us will make, and understanding how your home is constructed, as well as how the systems in the home operate is important.  YOUR AccuTech Team is constantly striving to make sure that you are equpped with the knowledge and understanding that will allow you to keep your home in good condition for years to come.  

Here are some technical articles and documents that we hope you will find interesting and helpful. Fee free to browse our technical library for any information that you may find interesting, informative, and helpful.  It’s just one more way that YOUR AccuTech Team is looking out for YOU!

Roof Shape Basics

Roof Shape Basics A roof is one of the critical defining elements of any residential dwelling or building. The shape of a roof is important because it determines how well the structure can withstand certain environmental elements like wind and rain runoff. As industry professionals, it is important to understand the basics of a building’s roof structure. Typical Roof Shapes Most roofs can be categorized into three basic shapes: Gable, Hip, and Flat (or Low Slope). Gable A gable roof is identified by a straight slope falling from the top ridge to the eave where the roof structure meets the upper wall sections. Visually, this creates a triangle shape above the walls on the side, front, or rear of a dwelling. Below are some basic

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Insulation R-Value Defined

Insulation R-Value Defined Energy efficiency has become an increasing concern in the Real Estate and Property Insurance Industries. The performance of the insulation products installed in a building or dwelling are important factors to be considered when building, purchasing, or renovating a home or commercial property. As Industry Professionals, it is helpful to be familiar with methods used when determining the R-Value of insulation materials.   R-Value Defined R–Value is defined as “The measurement used when quantifying the level of a specific material’s thermal resistance”. How Does R-Value Relate to Insulation? The function of insulation is to provide resistance to the flow of heat, and R-Value is the measure a material’s resistance to this heat flow. A high R-value equates to higher resistance to heat

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Water Heater Basics

Most residential dwellings have a tank-type water heater which consists of a cylindrical free-standing tank with plumbing supply and outlet lines at the top of the unit. The most common heat sources for tank water heaters are electricity or gas (either propane or natural gas). An electric water heater will have a large electrical conduit attached from the dwelling’s main electrical power source (main circuit breaker panel). A fuel-type or “gas fired” unit will have a large vent duct at the top and a fuel source line close to the bottom of the unit. A tank water heater not only heats water but stores it until it is needed. This is why all tank water heaters are fitted with insulation material that helps maintain the

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Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) A ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is a device used in residential and commercial buildings that is designed to disconnect a circuit when unbalanced current is detected between an energized wire and a neutral return wire. Such an imbalance is sometimes caused by current “leaking” through a person who is simultaneously in contact with a grounded conductor and an energized part of a circuit. This condition has the potential to create a lethal shock. Standard circuit breakers are designed to protect against voltage and current overloads as well as short circuits, but will not trip during a ground fault condition. QUICK FACT It is estimated that about 300 deaths by electrocution occur every year. The use of GFCIs has been adopted

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Dual Pane Window Damage

Condensation in Double-Paned Windows Double-pane windows are susceptible to a form of deterioration in which the window develops an area of condensation between the glass sections. This is sometimesreferred to as a “Fogged” window. As IndustryProfessionals, it is helpful to understand the causes and nature of this type of window damage. Condensation is defined as “The accumulation of liquid water on a cold surface”.  Most air contains at least some degree of water vapor, with higher concentrations of vapor present in areas of high humidity. Water vapor is the gaseousphase of water and is composed of tiny water droplets. Double-pane or “thermal” windows are constructed with a quantity of gas (usually argon) that is trapped between the two panes of glass. This trapped air acts

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Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is colorless, odorless and poisonous. CO is the by-product of the incomplete combustion of a fuel source like natural or liquefied gas, oil, wood, or coal. A basic understanding of the nature and hazards associated with CO is important to us as industry professionals. PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF CARBON MONOXIDE Oxygen in the air normally binds with blood hemoglobin in the human body. When CO is inhaled it displaces that oxygen, effectively beginning the suffocation process. CO can poison slowly, sometimes over a period of hours, even in very low concentrations. Sensitive human organs like the brain, heart, and lungs suffer the most when oxygen is displaced, depleted or restricted. QUICK FACTScientific studies have shown that very high concentrations of CO can kill

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Bathroom Ducts, Vents and Fans

Bathroom ventilation systems are designed to exhaust odors and moist air to a dwelling’s exterior. Basic Function and Control Typical systems consist of a ceiling-mounted fan unit connected to a flexible or rigid duct that terminates at one or more exterior areas (soffit vents are one of the most common termination points). The fan itself may be controlled in several ways: •     Most are controlled by a conventional wall switch.•     A timer switch may be mounted on the wall.•     A wall-mounted “humidistat” can be pre-set to turn the fan on and off based on different levels of relative humidity. Most new fans available for purchase are extremely quiet and have a very good rate of airflow for exhausting moist air and odors.

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Basic Electrical Terms

As industry professionals, we regularly see various technical reports that reference certain terms that relate to the electrical systems in dwellings and buildings. While consultation with a licensed, certified electrical specialist is always recommended when any type of electrical problems are discovered, it is important as industry professionals to be familiar with some basic terms that are commonly used when describing residential and commercial electrical systems. Basic Electrical Units of Measurement Voltage (V) Described technically as “A measure of potential energy per unit of charge”.    Huh???… Let’s use the “water in a pipe analogy” to explain: Voltage in any electrical system is just like water pressure in a plumbing system. A lot of water pressure in a pipe means thata lot of water can be

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Backflow Preventers

Backflow Preventers Backflow is defined as the reversal of the normal and intended direction of water flow in a water supply system. In order to prevent potential contamination of potable (drinkable) water supplies to buildings and homes, devices knows as Backflow Preventers are installed in the main water supply system. As Industry Professionals, it is helpful to be familiar with the basic operation of these devices BACKFLOW PROBLEM DESCRIPTION Backflow in a water supply system has the potential to spread contaminated water through a fresh water distribution system, allowing non- drinkable, contaminated water to enter the system causing potential health dangers to occupants if not mitigated. One example of a backflow problem would be an uncontrolled cross connection that allows pollutants or contaminants to enter

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Anti-Scald Valves

Anti-Scald Valves Many plumbing systems of newly-constructed and / or renovated homes and buildings are being equipped with a type of safety device known as an Anti-Scald Valve (sometimes also known as a tempering or mixing valve). As Industry Professionals, it is helpful to understand the purpose and basic function of this type of safety device. The Anti-Scald Valve mixes cold water with outgoing hot water so that the hot water that leaves a fixture or faucet is not at a temperature that can cause scalding or burning of skin. FACTS AND FIGURES•     Hot water scalds account for 20% of all burns that occur in the home each year.•     More than 2,000 kids in the US are scalded each year, with the majority

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