Efficient HVAC Systems in Extreme Climates: Ides for Homeowners

Water-Source Heat Pumps For Energy Efficiency

Posted by on Oct 5th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Water-Source Heat Pumps For Energy Efficiency

A water-source heap pump has a heating element located at the source of the water, as opposed to an in-line heating element or other heating system. Although heating water is the main goal, it also assists in cooling water in other areas by extracting heat from the air and transferring it away as it performs its job elsewhere. There are a few benefits that come from the water source heat pump model, and a few facts about its energy efficiency can help you decide if it’s the right heat pump design for you. No Boiler Needed Instead of using a loud, large boiler that holds a reserve of water, heat is transferred by a heat exchanger that heats up the water as it flows. Heat transfer via exchanger is more quiet, and since you’re using less equipment space, you have less metal and air contact to lose energy in the form of heat.  Big water boilers may seem imposing, but think about how heat is transferred. It radiates away into the air, or when touching different objects. The boiler itself is an object, and with a greater mass, more potential heat is wasted as heat is absorbed into the boiler tank. This may not seem like much because boilers are hot to the touch and can keep the area warm, but that’s exactly the problem; that heat should be going into the water, and any heat felt by you, warming the area or heating up the boiler equipment is wasted heat. Compact Design  Water-source heat pumps and their other in-line pump relatives are part of a more compact, efficient way of handling water supply. The benefit of being smaller answers the boiler problem in the previous section, since a smaller size means less equipment absorbing and radiating heat in areas other than the water. The other benefit of compact design is a more exact contact against water pipes. Exchangers can deliver precision heating at the water source and deliver the water at near exact temperatures instead of relying on a more unpredictable or weakened water temperature from boiler and other water storage heating systems. When water is heated in a boiler, a sufficient amount of water needs to be heated before distribution. As temperatures drop, this time can take longer both due to the cooler temperatures and the slower heating time itself. Because the boiler takes longer to heat water, the water has a chance to cool off, which means a larger amount of water needs to be stabilized before distribution. Water-source heat pumps also have to work harder when temperatures drop, but not as hard as water-storage heating systems. It’s a faster transfer of energy in the form of heat and a delivery on demand. Contact an HVAC professional to discuss the water-source heat pump process and other options for water...

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Got a Mansion That Needs Cooling? Three Options for HVAC Installation

Posted by on Jul 29th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Got a Mansion That Needs Cooling? Three Options for HVAC Installation

Having a mansion means that you have a lot of house to heat and cool. Sometimes that means looking at alternative options for conserving energy and saving money. If you have a home that is well over several thousand square feet, here are a few residential HVAC services that can help you cool that massive castle of yours. Commercial Cooling Systems Commercial cooling systems are meant for office buildings and commercial applications, but when you own a home as big as the one you have, you may want to look at commercial cooling systems as an option. These oversized central air conditioners and forced air furnaces can make sure that no matter where you wander in your home, the temperature is the same. You will never have one part of your mansion hotter or cooler than the others. Since the installation process is pretty much the same, except for the fact that these much larger capacity units require more space outside and inside, nothing extra or extraordinary needs to be done to the construction of your home. Multiple Residential Condensers to Cover Each Wing of Your Estate Another option that owners of mansions choose (in order to avoid the eyesore of a commercial condenser on the property) is the installation of several average-sized condensers for air conditioning. These are placed in key areas outside of the home, where they appear rather normal hanging out in the bushes or flower beds. Each unit manages the cooling tasks for just that wing of your home. All of these condensers feed into one or more forced air furnaces, which also help heat the wings of your home in colder months. As an added bonus, you can turn each central air unit on or off, depending on how many bedrooms and common areas are currently in use, thereby decreasing energy consumption and operation costs. Geothermal and Solar Options Many people who can afford mansions and estates like yours often decide that they like the idea of geothermal or solar options for heating and cooling. These options remove the need for residential or commercial condensers entirely, and the furnaces become unnecessary. You may need to install a bigger heat pump to manage the geothermal system, but the nice thing about this option is that you do not see any of the usual condenser boxes all over the property. The solar heat-collection panels are a nice addition too, one which you can easily shut off by closing off the solar panels. Both options together make good choices for mansions and exceedingly large estates. For more information, you can go to this website as well as search other sites that provide information about various heating and cooling...

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3 Simple Steps To Doing Monthly Air Conditioning Maintenance And Avoiding Repairs

Posted by on Jun 7th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Simple Steps To Doing Monthly Air Conditioning Maintenance And Avoiding Repairs

The summer heat can mean a lot of mechanical systems go through an endurance test. With the AC in your home, this can eventually lead to the cooling breaking down and you being uncomfortable. If you want to avoid many of the common summer AC problems, a good monthly maintenance routine can help you stay cool. Here are the basic steps to doing your AC maintenance on a monthly basis: 1. Start With The Simple Task Of Changing The Air Filter One of the biggest causes of air conditioner problems is the failure to change the air filter. During the hot summer months, you AC is working more, which also means that the air filter will need to be changed more often. Change the air filter once a month to ensure that your AC is free of dust and debris, as well as has good air flow. In addition, if you do not want to by disposable air filters, there are cleanable air filters that you can buy. If you use the reusable air filters, you may want to buy a few of them to make this maintenance task easier and be able to clean them better. 2. Reduce Energy Loss By Checking For Air Leaks And Damaged Ducts Energy loss can also contribute to your AC problems. This can be due to things like air leaks in ducts, which during summer months can be caused by animals looking for cool shade. Check your ducts to make sure they do not need repairs. You will also want to check for air leaks in your home where air can be escaping. Once a month, do a DIY energy audit to find and address these problems. Addressing these issues can prevent your AC from constantly running and the extra wear that this causes. 3. Cool Evenings To Clean The Air Condensing Unit And Prevent Freezing Outside of your home, the air condensing unit can also use some monthly maintenance. On a cool evening, turn the AC off and clean up the unit. This can be done by removing any debris in the unit and cleaning the coils with a mild detergent and garden hose. Doing this can prevent the coil from getting too dirty, which can eventually lead to freezing and serious AC damage. Once you have cleaned the unit, let it dry before turning the AC back on, which can be left off until the next morning on a cool night. Doing the monthly maintenance to your AC can help prevent summertime AC problems. There may be some repairs and maintenance you need help with. You can contact an HVAC contractor to help you with your AC problems and talk with them about a maintenance service to ensure your AC is working at its best during the height of the summer heat.  For AC service, contact a company such as River City Heating &...

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Why Change Your Air Conditioner’s Air Filter?: A Primer

Posted by on Apr 18th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Change Your Air Conditioner’s Air Filter?: A Primer

There are plenty of reasons that you should change your air conditioner’s air filter on a regular basis. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn of three specific reasons why you should do so: you will improve the air quality in your home, prevent damage to both your air conditioner and duct work, and save on bills by improving energy efficiency.   Improve Air Quality There is usually a noticeable difference after you have improved the air quality in your home. Take the time to replace your air filter once every three months in order to ensure that there is a constant and consistent source of fresh air entering your home. A dirty air filter can wind up not doing its job and will cause dirt and debris to enter into your air ducts and through your vents. In addition, much of the debris and pollution that is caught in your air filter can wind up entering your home. This issue can wind up decreasing the overall condition of your health by aggravating issues relating to allergies, bronchitis, and asthma. Prevent Damage To Air Conditioner and Duct Work An air filter basically works as a preventative measure to keep excess dust and debris out of your air conditioner’s duct system. An accumulation of debris can wind up causing serious damage to your ducts and, down the road, could cause you to have them professionally cleaned, which means that you’ll be out a fair amount of cash. By replacing your air filter once every three months with a new and clean replacement, you will keep dirt from accumulating. Dirt and debris can also harm the inner workings of the unit itself, including lodging itself in the motor of the air conditioner. This can be a pricey proposition to fix, and even pricier to replace. Improves Energy Efficiency When your air conditioner is free of pollution, it’s going to work at its best possible capacity. When debris and other foreign objects are present, it has to work that much harder to get the same job done. As such, it’s important to replace your air filter on a regular basis. Doing so can make your air conditioner work much more efficiently and can save you on your monthly utility bill. This brief guide should have given you some idea of the importance of changing your air conditioner’s air filter on a regular basis. For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as D & W Heating & Air Conditioning...

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3 Situations That Warrant An Emergency Whole-House Generator

Posted by on Feb 16th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Situations That Warrant An Emergency Whole-House Generator

You have probably heard of whole-house generators, which can be used to power your entire home if your electricity goes out. However, you might assume that they are expensive, or you might think that you don’t have much use for one. Just about anyone can benefit from having one of these back-up sources installed, but certain people need one more than others. You can talk with a professional, like Childers Enterprises Inc, to see if your family could benefit from one. Also, these are a few situations that you should consider investing in one for your home. 1. You Rely on Power for Essential Medical Equipment If you — or anyone else in your household — rely on power for essential medical equipment, you can’t afford for it to fail. Plus, even a portable generator might not be a good option, since it can take some time to get it set up. An emergency system will flip on automatically if your power goes out, which can protect you or your loved one in the event of a power outage. In some situations, this can make the difference between life or death. 2. You Have Kids Going without power isn’t fun for anyone, but it can be particularly scary and upsetting for kids. Plus, it can be tough to give your kids baths, prepare their meals, and otherwise take care of them when you don’t have electricity. You also have to worry about not being able to keep your home properly heated or cooled during harsh weather conditions if you rely on electricity for your HVAC system. This is why it’s a great idea to invest in one of these systems — along with keeping yourself and other adults in your household as comfortable as possible, you can also ensure that your kids are comfortable and well cared for. 3. You Work from Home If you work from home, you might rely on your electricity more than most people do. For example, you might rely on your computer so that you can work, or you might invite customers into your home. You may literally not be able to afford not having power, since it can result in you being unable to work. Investing in a whole-house generator can help ensure that you’re able to work in even the worst of conditions. As you can see, investing in an emergency generator for your home can be helpful in a lot of situations. If any of these things apply to you, consider contacting a professional to  get a price quote for one of these...

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Use A Green Roof To Save Yourself Money On Cooling And Heating Costs

Posted by on Jan 12th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Use A Green Roof To Save Yourself Money On Cooling And Heating Costs

One of the biggest bills that you have to contend with as a homeowner is the cost of heating and cooling your home. Thus, a wise homeowner will do whatever it takes to reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home. One way to do this is by reducing your heat gain. While upgrading your windows can help with this, so can your choice of roofing. For the best savings and a unique style, you should consider installing a green roof.  What Is Heat Gain? UV rays will heat up whatever surface they hit. Your roof is exposed to the full assault of the sun’s rays all day long. Heat gain is increased when you clad your home with a dark roofing material like asphalt. The tar in asphalt shingles will soak up the sun’s rays and then allow that heat to seep into your home. White roofing materials or reflective roofing materials, such as metal, can reflect the sun’s rays away from your home and reduce your cooling and heating costs by helping to keep your home cooler, so your AC system does not have to work as hard.  How Does Green Roofing Help? The term green usually refers to building materials that help to reduce the amount of energy you use in your home and/or materials that don’t put a huge strain on the earth’s resources. A green roof takes this philosophy even a step further by covering your roof with grass or other greenery. Such a roof has environmental benefits such as helping o purify the air and retain rain water, but it will absorb all of the sun’s energy before it has a chance to heat up your home. This can help to reduce your cooling costs by up to 75%. While you will put a lot of money into installing a green roof, you stand to save more money than you spend.  Trying out-of-the-box solutions for keeping your home cool can pay you back in all sorts of different ways. Green roofing gives your home a unique look that will help it to stand apart from other home’s in your neighborhood or blend into your surroundings. When you consider the advantages that can come from a good green roof, it is worth the extra cost and hassle of setting up the roof. Not all heat enters your home through your roof, but you can still drastically reduce your costs by installing a green roof. For more information, contact companies like Nebraska Heating &...

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AC Problems: Why An Evaporator Coil Might Stop Producing Cold Air

Posted by on Sep 15th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on AC Problems: Why An Evaporator Coil Might Stop Producing Cold Air

Do you sweat a lot in your house because the air conditioner (AC) has stopped producing cold air? The most important part of a central air conditioning system is the evaporator coil, so you may want to hire a contractor to inspect it. Find out in this article what can cause cooling problems for an evaporator coil, as well as what kind of fees you may have to pay if a new system is needed. What Causes an Evaporator Coil to Stop Cooling Air? The main job of the evaporator coil is to transform the system coolant into gas that makes the metal on it cold. One of the things that can pose a problem is the coil having cracks in it. Although the system coolant may be getting transformed into gas, it is possible that air is seeping through cracks when you have the air conditioner on. Small cracks may be able to be sealed, but large cracks may mean that you need to get a new coil installed. It is also possible that the evaporator coil is covered in dirt or debris. The reason a dirty coil can interfere with cold air being produced is because air must touch the metal in order to cool off. A dirty coil prevents air from the system blower from fully making contact with the metal coil. Getting the coil cleaned by a professional should be good enough to bring efficiency back to your air conditioner. If the evaporator coil is not the reason your air conditioner is not producing cold air, it may be that you simply have an old system. If you live in an old house that has a central air conditioning system that has never undergone an upgrade, it may be time for you to invest in a new one. What are the Estimated Fees for a New Central Air Conditioning System? Replacing your central air conditioning system will cost a minimum of $3,500 if the old ducts can still be used. However, you can end up paying over $8,000 if the contractor must make changes to the air ducts. The quoted price is based on a home being 2,000 square feet. The complexity of the installation task will also have an effect on the fees that you will have to pay. Don’t delay speaking to a contractor, like those at Bill’s Heating & Air Conditioning, so he or she can inspect your air conditioning system to find out what kind of repairs are necessary to get cold air...

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3 Reasons Your New Home Has Unusually High Cooling Costs

Posted by on Jul 23rd, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Your New Home Has Unusually High Cooling Costs

Did you recently purchase a new home and now face cooling costs far higher than you were anticipating? Your inspector should’ve checked that the air conditioning system was working during the buying process, though there are ways an underperforming system can slip through unnoticed. And there are other maintenance and functional problems that can create more work for your cooling system. Here are three potential reasons your new home has higher cooling costs than other homes in the area. Improper Maintenance When you buy a new home, you should call a heating and air conditioner company for a service call. Most HVAC companies, such as Hallmark Service Company, offer an annual maintenance special that includes the basics. Changing or cleaning the filter, cleaning the condensing unit, and cleaning the coils are a few of the services. After the initial maintenance, you need to keep up with changing or cleaning the filters on your own. Ask the technician how often you need to change the filters or consult your owner’s manual for instructions. You can also easily keep the condensing unit clean after the service call. Brush any branches or large debris off of the exterior grate. Carefully remove a grate, consulting your manual to see precisely how to do this with your unit, and use a hose to spray through the gates from the inside. Avoid getting the water down into the bottom of the unit. Duct Issues Problems with the ductwork mean that a perfectly functioning air conditioner will have to work twice as hard to try and cool your house to your desired temperature. Ductwork fixes can become expensive, but the cost will pay off over time in your lowered electricity bills. The existing ducts can be improperly placed or sized from when the air conditioner was installed. This can lead to air having difficulties traveling through your home. If you have certain sections of your home that are far warmer than others, this could be the problem. Duct leaks are also possible even in properly placed ductwork. The joints can separate and allow some of the cold air to release into your walls rather than into your rooms. So your unit will keep pushing out cold air, losing part of it each time, until your temperature lowers. Wrong Type of Unit Was your home previously a duplex or was there an addition built on recently? The central air conditioner might not be strong enough to cool the existing living space. Call for an HVAC service call to see if the air conditioner is strong enough and if enough ductwork was run in the new sections to sufficiently cool the house. Do you have a single-stage air conditioner that only has fully off or fully on positions? You might want to consider spending the money on a two-stage system, which allows you to have a middle setting of low cooling when its warm but not sweltering hot. The two-stage system means you don’t have to turn the air conditioner on to full power to simply cool down the interior by a few degrees. This middle temperature setting can save a great deal of energy...

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An Air-Source Vs. A Ground-Source Heat Pump

Posted by on Jul 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on An Air-Source Vs. A Ground-Source Heat Pump

What if you could heat your home without using a fossil fuel? What if you did not have to draw electricity from the grid? What if you only needed one piece of machinery? You can achieve all of these objectives simply by using a heat pump in your home. If green heating is your goal, you have two main types of heat pumps to choose from: air-source  and ground-source. How Does a Heat Pump Work? Heat pumps use one set of fins, known as evaporator coils, to absorb heat from their surroundings. A second set of fins, known as condenser coils, expel this heat. To cool your home, you place the evaporator coils on the inside and the condenser coils on the outside. A heat pump allows you to reverse the function of your coils so that the coils on the outside absorb heat and the ones on the inside expel heat. The difference between the two types of heat pumps hinges on where the outside coils are located.  Air-Source Heat Pump An air-source heat pump is virtually identical to an air conditioner in that it will have a set of coils located at ground level on the outside of your house. These coils heat your home by extracting heat from the surrounding air. In this way, an air-source heat pump can achieve efficiency ratings of up to 250%. In other words, for every unit of electricity the pump uses, it will generate 2.5 units of heat. By using solar panels or wind turbines to generate electricity, you can heat and cool your home independent of any outside utility. The drawback of an air-source heat pump is that the colder it gets outside, the less efficient your pump will be. Also, the hotter it gets outside, the harder it is for an AC unit or heat pump to force hot air into the outside air.  Ground-Source Heat Pump If you dig down 5-10 feet below the surface, you will find that ground temperatures remain a constant 50˚F year round.  By burying specially designed coils underground, you can tap into these moderate temperatures to reach efficiency levels of up to 600%. You will also be able to use the earth as a heat sink to expel heat from your home on a hot day, and as a heat reserve to pump warm air into your home in the dead of winter.  Because of the need to bury coils underground, ground-source heat pumps are considerably more expensive than their air-source counterparts, but because you can eliminate your operating costs by powering your heat pump with solar panels, you may be able to offset the high installation and/or financing costs. On the other hand, whether you use an air-source or a ground-source heat pump, you can have the peace of mind that you are conditioning the air in your home in an environmentally friendly way. For more information, contact a professional like those at D & R Service...

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4 Tips To Keeping Your House Cool When Your Air Goes Out

Posted by on Jun 30th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips To Keeping Your House Cool When Your Air Goes Out

If your air conditioner goes out on a hot day, the first thing you want to do is put a call in to an HVAC technician. However, it may take them a while to get to you. Therefore, you want to keep your house as cool as possible in the meantime. Use the tips in this article to keep cool when your AC isn’t working. Open and close windows during best times of the day: Many people make the mistake of keeping their windows open all day when they are trying to cool their house. This can work against you on a hot day. Instead, you want to open your windows during the morning hours and the evening hours. However, close them during the heat of the day. This will allow the cool air in and trap it in during the hot hours. Close all your blinds: When you close your windows, make sure to close your blinds along with them. The blinds will provide your home with added insulation to help trap the colder air in and prevent the suns hot rays from penetrating into the house. Make your own air cooler: Turn on all your ceiling fans to circulate the air. You can put big bowls of ice in front of floor fans to circulate colder air. You can also put ice in a Styrofoam cooler, cut a couple holes in the side of the cooler and a hole in the top (a little smaller than a small fan). Put a small fan on the top hole facing down and turn it on. This will work much like an air conditioner to cool off the air in the room. Close off upstairs rooms: Since heat rises, the upstairs part of your home is hotter. When you are trying to cool down your home, closing off the unused upstairs rooms will allow you to contain the coolness more efficiently in the areas where you need it most. If you live in an extremely hot region, make sure you keep a close eye on any young children, elderly persons and/or pets in your home. You may want to wet down the animals and give everyone cool rags to put on the backs of their necks. Let the HVAC technician know if you have extenuating circumstances that should move you to the top of the line with regards to getting someone...

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