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HVAC Blog | National Air Warehouse

  • Post-Summer Evaluation of Your Air Conditioner’s Performance

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    Now that summer is over and the weather is finally starting to cool off, it’s time to think back on your air conditioner’s performance over the last few months. One of the most important questions to ask is whether the cooling components in your AC system were sufficient to keep your house cool and comfortable all summer. If the answer is no, you may want to consider adding or replacing the cooling components in your system with a condenser with an evaporator coil.

    Understanding How a Condenser with an Evaporator Coil Can Improve Your AC System

    In an AC system, the condenser is responsible for releasing heat into the outdoor air. An evaporator coil picks up heat from the air inside your home or business, so choosing a condenser with an evaporator coil can increase the effectiveness and efficiency with which heat is removed from the building. As a result, adding or replacing a cooling component in your AC system with a condenser with evaporator coil can increase the system’s ability to keep your home or business cool during the hottest days of summer. This option is ideal for people who live in warmer climates and have AC systems that just aren’t meeting their cooling needs.

    Of course, with winter on the way, improving your AC system might not be at the forefront of your mind right now. But fall is actually an excellent time to consider adding to or replacing cooling components within your AC system. If you live in a warm climate, waiting until spring can be risky. By the time spring comes and you remember that you wanted to improve your AC system, you might end up having to endure days without air conditioning while the condenser with evaporator coil is being installed. It can be a lot easier do the job now, when the sub-standard summer performance of your air conditioner is still fresh in your mind, but you don’t have to worry that your home will get too warm for comfort during the installation process.

    Considering the Costs of a Condenser with Evaporator Coil

    When deciding whether to invest in a condenser with evaporator coil, cost can be a major consideration. For one of these options, one of the main cost determinants is the cooling capacity, which can range from 1.5 tons to 5 tons. If you are worried about the effects of a condenser with evaporator coil on your energy bill, you should also pay attention to the SEER rating. For condensers with evaporator coils, you can choose between 14 SEER and 16 SEER. A higher SEER rating is generally associated with a higher upfront cost, but choosing a 16 SEER-rated product may help you keep next summer’s energy bills lower.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of condenser with evaporator coil options. Contact us today to find the one that is right for you!

  • BTUs for Furnaces and Air Conditioners: Is There a Difference?

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    When you buy a new furnace or air conditioner, there are lots of parameters you need to consider. The AFUE and/or SEER rating or a system can help you find a system at your desired efficiency level, and the heating capacity gives you the information you need to ensure that the unit has what it takes to keep the temperature in your home or business at a comfortable level. Heating capacity is a measure  of the amount of hot or cold air that the unit can produce, and it is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU).

    If you’re a homeowner looking to replace both your furnace and air conditioner, or if you’re a homebuilder putting in systems for a new building, you might automatically assume that the BTU you need is the same for both the furnace and the air conditioner -- but that’s not always the case. The main factor that determines your heating capacity needs is the size of the building, but other factors can lead you to choose a system that is on either the high or low end of the appropriate BTU spectrum for your building size.

    BTU Ranges for Whole-Building HVAC Systems

    If you are looking for an air conditioner or furnace to meet the cooling needs of an entire home or business, your heating capacity options vary widely. At the low end, you can buy a furnace or air conditioner with a 40K or 50K BTU. However, based on size alone, the heating capacity needs of most homes and businesses fall between 60K BTU and 100K BTU. For unusually large buildings, furnaces or air conditioners with 120K to 150K BTU may be required.

    For every building size, there is a range of appropriate BTUs, which can be determined based on a variety of factors. Aside from size, some of the things that can cause your BTU needs to differ between your air conditioner and your furnace include the following:

     

    • Location. If you live in a location that is cold for most of the year, with summer temperatures topping out around 80, you can get away with  a lower BTU for your air conditioner than your furnace. Conversely, if you live in a warm location where the temperature never drops below freezing, the amount of heat to keep your house comfortable in the winter will be lower, so your furnace may not need as high a BTU as your air conditioner.
    • Size and location of windows. East- and south-facing windows are great for keeping a building warmer in the winter, which may lower the necessary BTU. At the same time, if the windows are large and hard to cover in the summer, you may need an air conditioner with a higher BTU to keep the building comfortable in the warmer months.
    • Personal preference. Regardless of the time of year, some people prefer a cool living environment, while others would rather stay warm and toasty. If you’re in the former group, it might make more sense to choose an air conditioner on the high end of the BTU spectrum for your building size and a furnace on the low end. If you’re in the latter category, the opposite strategy may be ideal for you.

     
    No matter what you’re looking for in an HVAC system, National Air Warehouse can help you find what you need. Contact us today for more information about our products!

  • Halloween Heating Tips for Homeowners

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    Happy Halloween! Today is the scariest day of the year, but with the cold months of winter on the horizon, you probably have something on your mind that’s even scarier than ghosts and ghouls: your winter energy bill. As a business owner, you need to keep the building warm in order to ensure the comfort of your customers and the productivity of your employees. As a homeowner, you want to keep your family cozy and warm during the long nights of winter. However, heating a home or business can be expensive, so you have to be strategic about the heating choices you make. Read on for some Halloween tips to help you keep your building warm this winter without dying of fright when you see your energy bill.

    Tip 1: It’s no treat to get tricked about AFUE.

    If you’re buying a new gas furnace for the winter, one of the things you have to consider is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of the system. This number is expressed as a percentage, and it is calculated by dividing the total heat output by the total energy consumed. When looking at these figures, it is important to understand what they might mean for your energy bill. In general, choosing a system with a higher AFUE can lower your energy bill. Medium-efficiency heating systems typically have AFUE ratings between 80% and 90%, while high-efficiency systems typically have ratings between 90% and 98.5%.

    However, it is important to note that AFUE ratings can only be directly compared if you are looking at systems that use the same fuel type. You can’t compare the AFUE of a natural gas furnace with the AFUE of an electric furnace if you are worried about your energy bill, because the costs of natural gas and electricity differ.

    Tip 2: Don’t count on the ghost in your attic to adjust your thermostat when it gets cold.

    In the winter, there’s nothing worse than coming home from a long day of work to a frigid house or arriving at your business in the morning and shivering through your 9 o’clock meeting. At the same time, you don’t want to waste energy heating your house all day when no one is home or your business all night when no one is working. To resolve this problem, you can install a programmable thermostat, which allows you to set a temperature schedule for your home or business so that it is warm when you want it to be without draining your budget by heating during the off-hours. Another option is a wi-fi thermostat, which enables you to adjust your thermostat remotely.

    Tip 3: Don’t be a ghoul and rule out a dual fuel packaged unit -- it might make sense for you!

    Dual fuel packaged units differ from traditional heat pumps in that they utilize a built-in gas furnace for supplemental heating rather than electric heat strips. Therefore, they are ideal for customers who live in places where the cost of heating with gas is lower than the cost of heating with electricity. Find out about the energy costs in your area before you rule out this option.
    Here at National Air Warehouse, we are committed to providing high quality HVAC equipment at affordable prices that even a ghost wouldn’t say boo about. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you heat your home this winter!

  • Start Capacitors vs Run Capacitors: What’s the Difference?

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    One of the most common reasons why an air conditioner stops working is a failed capacitor. In an air conditioning system, the capacitor is the energy storage device that holds the electrical charge needed to power the fan motor. Therefore, the failure of the capacitor means that your air conditioning system will stop blowing cold air, and a replacement is required.

    The Two Types of Capacitors

    There are two types of capacitors: run capacitors and start capacitors. Run capacitors are more common. They store the energy that is needed to keep the fan motor going so that the air conditioner continues to cool down your house. In contrast, the start capacitor specifically provides the energy needed to start up your air conditioner. As you might expect, it takes more torque to start the motor than to keep it running, so the capacitance -- that is, the energy storage capacity  -- of a start capacitor must be higher than that of a run capacitor. To understand why, think about the fan motor like a push-powered merry-go-round on a playground -- it can take considerable effort to get it started, but once it gets going, you don’t need to push as much to keep it running. Therefore, the capacitance rating for most run capacitors is between 5 and 80 Microfarads (MFD), while it typically ranges from 430 MFD to 516 MFD for start capacitors.

    Deciding What to Do When Your Capacitor Gives Out

    When the capacitor in your AC system gives out, you are faced with a decision: Should you replace the capacitor or replace the entire system? That may depend on whether the problem is with the start capacitor or the run capacitor. If the problem is with the run capacitor, replacing the capacitor often makes more sense. Depending on the MFD, the price of a run capacitor can range between less than 10 and 100 dollars, so it’s a safe investment. In most cases, replacing your run capacitor can get your system back up and running in no time!

    However, if the problem is with the start capacitor, you may want to consider replacing the system altogether. Start capacitors are larger and more expensive, and they are a lot harder to find, since most AC systems today do not have a separate start capacitor. If your system is getting old and its parts are giving out, it may be time to consider an upgrade.

     
    Whether you are looking for a replacement run capacitor, a new AC system, or any other HVAC equipment, National Air Warehouse can help you find what you need. Contact us today to learn more about all of our products!

  • Eliminating Mold with a Germicidal Ultraviolet Air Treatment Kit

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    Over the last few months, millions of Americans have been impacted by a series of devastating hurricanes. Across the South, homes and businesses have been left without power for days or even weeks. Flooding has also been common. As a result of the heavy rains and recent flood events, many building owners are now dealing with the presence of harmful mold. Read on to learn more about a cutting-edge technology that may help you solve the problem: a germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit.

    How Ultraviolet Light Destroys Mold and Other Microbes

    It’s been over a hundred years since scientist Niels Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering that ultraviolet light can effectively treat tuberculosis. In 1903, he earned the prize when he found that it was possible to kill the bacteria that cause tuberculosis by exposing them to ultraviolet light. Today, scientists know that ultraviolet light damages the DNA of microbes (such as bacteria and fungi), which disrupts cellular processes that are essential for life. Thus, ultraviolet light has been applied as a germicidal strategy in a wide range of industries -- including HVAC.

    Getting Rid of Mold In Your Home or Business

    Even if the flooding in your home was minimal, the slightest bit of mold exposure can lead to major problems. There are lots of myths going around about how to get rid of mold. Some of the myths you might have heard include the following:

    • MYTH: The mold will go away when the carpet dries out.
    • MYTH: You can get rid of mold by painting over it.
    • MYTH: Bleach is effective for destroying all types of mold.
    • MYTH: Mold is natural, so it’s nothing to worry about.

    In fact, even if the carpet dries out in a few days, mold can persist for weeks, months, or even years if it the situation is not addressed. And painting over it does NOTHING to fix the problem. While bleach does destroy some types of mold, there are certain species of fungi that are resistant, and it does not kill mold on porous surfaces. Moreover, bleach does nothing to address the problem of mold spores in the air. And finally, certain types of mold can cause serious health problems, so if your home or business has been exposed to mold as a result of the recent hurricanes, you should take action immediately.

    A germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit is an excellent solution. This technology can eliminate mold spores from the air in your home or business in less than a second. Even in rooms with a high concentration of mold spores, an ultraviolet air treatment kit is highly effective.
    If you’re looking to solve a mold problem after the recent hurricane -- or prevent one in the future -- National Air Warehouse offers a top quality ultraviolet air treatment kit at an affordable price. Contact us today for more information!

  • The Best U.S. States for Dual Fuel Packaged Units

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    If you are looking for a new heating system for your home or business, you might be considering a dual fuel package unit as an alternative to a package heat pump. The main difference between the two is the way that they provide supplemental heating. Unlike a traditional package heat pump, which uses electric heat strips for supplemental heating, a dual fuel package heat pump uses a built-in gas furnace.

    Because a dual fuel package heat pump relies entirely on gas for supplemental heating, rather than electricity, it is ideal for locations where the cost of heating with gas is lower than the cost of heating with electricity. Read on for information that can help you determine whether or not you live in one of those locations.

    States with Low Natural Gas Costs

    It might make sense for you to choose a dual fuel package unit if you live in one of the states with the lowest monthly natural gas costs. According to a 2017 survey, natural gas costs were the lowest in these 10 states:

    1. Michigan
    2. Alaska
    3. Rhode Island
    4. New York
    5. Illinois
    6. Massachusetts
    7. New Jersey
    8. Utah
    9. Ohio
    10. Washington, DC

    States with High Electricity Costs

    Another justification for choosing a dual fuel packaged unit is if you live in a state where the monthly electricity costs are relatively high. As of 2017, the following 10 states had the highest electricity costs:

    1. New Mexico
    2. Utah
    3. Colorado
    4. Illinois
    5. Washington
    6. Washington, DC
    7. California
    8. Minnesota
    9. Michigan
    10. Oregon

    Recognizing Local Differences

    Looking at lists of the states with the lowest natural gas costs and the highest electricity costs, it initially seems that a dual fuel packaged unit is the only way to go in places that fall into both categories: Michigan, Illinois, and Washington, DC. You might also think that if your state is not on either one of these lists, a dual fuel packaged unit is out of the question.

    However, it is important to note that electricity and natural gas costs can vary within states. Therefore, these lists can give you an idea of whether or not a dual fuel packaged unit is more financially feasible than a traditional package heat pump, but in order to be sure, you should look into your local energy costs.  

     
    National Air Warehouse offers all kind of heating systems, including dual fuel packaged units that ship for free -- no matter where in the country you live. Contact us today for more information about our products!

  • Comparing Single Run Capacitors: MFD, VAC, and Price

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    The run capacitor is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system. As we have discussed in a past post, a faulty run capacitor requires an immediate replacement. In furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps, the run capacitor holds the electrical charge that powers the fan motor, so a broken run capacitor renders your system useless.

    When browsing the options for new single run capacitors, you will see that different products vary in three ways: the value of the MFD, the value of the VAC, and the price. Typically, the price depends on the previous two factors. Read on to learn more about these three variables so that you can choose the right single run capacitor for your system.

    Understanding MFD: What Does It Mean?

    The MFD for single run capacitors on the market today can range from as low as 5 MFD to as high as 80 MFD. MFD stands for “Microfarads,” and it is a measure of the unit’s capacitance -- that is, the amount of charge that the capacitor can store when a particular voltage is applied. Single run capacitors with higher MFD values have greater capabilities, so they can support larger heating and cooling systems. This explains why the price of a single run capacitor tends to increase with MFD value. When you choose the right MFD capacitor for your system, it ensures that the motor RPM and the motor torque are ideal for your system, ensuring its effectiveness and efficiency.

    VAC Value: 370 or 440?

    The other value that you confront when choosing between single run capacitors is the VAC value. VAC stands for “Volts Alternating Current,” and it indicates the supply voltage for which the unit is rated. Depending on your system, you need a run capacitor with either 370 VAC or 440 VAC. Again, because single run capacitors with 440 VAC support larger, more capable HVAC systems, they tend to be priced slightly higher -- but it’s worth a few more dollars if you are replacing a run capacitor with 440 VAC. Otherwise, the voltage applied will be too high for the capacitor to withstand, so it could fail without warning.

    Direct Price Comparisons

    To get a better idea of what you can expect to pay for single run capacitors with different MFD and VAC values, here are are a few direct price comparisons:

    370 VAC                                 440 VAC

    7.5 MFD: $23.25                   $24.75

    15 MFD $28.58                     $30.08

    25 MFD $38.14                     $39.65

    40 MFD $52.79                     $54.29

    55 MFD $66.83                     $68.34

    70 MFD $76.19                     $77.70


    If you are looking to replace your single run capacitor, National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of options. Contact us today to learn more about our products!

  • Preparing for Power Outages: The Advantages of Central Gas Heating

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    Over the last few weeks, millions of Americans across the South have been left without power due to the damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. At the same time, in certain areas of the West, electrical power sources have been disrupted by wildfires. And as summer fades into fall and the weather gets colder, concerns about ongoing power outages are becoming more serious. Read on to learn more about the advantages of central gas heating for buildings in areas that are prone to power outages.

    The Growing Problem of Power Outages Around the County

    Large-scale natural disasters can cause power outages that leave homes and businesses out of power for weeks or even months on end, as power companies struggle to repair widespread damage and meet the needs of hundreds or even thousands of customers. This is a major inconvenience for homeowners and business owners -- especially if your building relies on electricity for heating. Your family may end up shivering through dinner, your employees will be less motivated to work in a frigid office environment, or your customers will want to spend as little time as possible in your chilly store.

    Losing heat due to a power outage can become an even more serious problem in the depths of winter, when things really start to get cold. Power lines may be damaged by an ice storm, or heavy snow could cause a tree to fall on a power line. When the weather is wet, windy, and cold, you could be waiting hours, days, or even weeks for the power to be restored.

    Central Gas Heating As a Solution to Problems from Power Outages

    One of the benefits of choosing central gas heating for your home or business is that the heat will stay on -- even when the electricity goes out. That way, everyone in the building will remain warm and comfortable as you wait for the lights to turn back on, no matter how long it takes.

    It is important to note that your furnace might not work perfectly during a power outage. Gas furnaces that rely on electric thermostats -- including Wi-Fi thermostats -- cannot send the signal to the furnace to provide heat when the power goes out. But the problem can be resolved relatively easily by installing a small electric generator to provide power to the thermostat in case of an emergency. That way, when the power goes out, the temperature of your building won’t be on your list of things to worry about.

     
    If you’re looking for a gas furnace for your home or business, National Air Warehouse offers a broad selection of options. Contact us today to learn more about our central gas heating solutions!

  • Choosing the Right Size Air Conditioner for Your House

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    When you are purchasing an air conditioner for your home, one of the most important choices you will make is the size of the unit. On the market today, you can find air conditioners ranging from 1.5 tons to 5 tons, offered in 0.5 ton increments. But if you aren’t an expert in HVAC, the idea of measuring an air conditioner in tons can initially be confusing. After all, no air conditioner weighs a ton! So what do these numbers mean? Is a 2 ton unit better than a 1.5 ton unit? Is a 5 ton unit the best? Read on for answers to these questions and more!

    Why Air Conditioner Cooling Capacity is Measured in Tonnage

    Usually, when you hear about something being measured in tons, the figure refers to the object’s weight. But for air conditioners, the tonnage of the unit is actually of a measure of its ability to remove a certain amount of heat from the air in your house in a certain amount of time. Specifically, it refers to the unit’s ability to remove 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat from the building in a single hour. Therefore, a 2 ton air conditioner can remove 24,000 BTUs of heat per hour, a 3 ton air conditioner can remove 36,000 BTUs of heat per hour, and a 4 ton air conditioner can remove 48,000 BTUs of heat per hour.

    Not All Sizes Are Created Equal

    Given that air conditioners with higher cooling capacities can remove more heat from the air per hour, you might automatically assume that a higher number is better -- but that’s not true! Choosing the right size air conditioner for your home is essential, and problems can arise if the tonnage is too high or too low.

    If the cooling capacity is too high, your air conditioner will turn on, quickly cool down the house, and then turn off. But the house will soon warm up again, initiating another short cycle. This is a highly inefficient way to keep your house cool, unnecessarily wasting energy and increasing your energy bill. Alternatively, if the cooling capacity is too low, you air conditioner will not have the power to remove all the heat from your house, so it will run constantly. Again, this is an inefficient way to keep the temperature down, and running your air conditioner all day and all night inevitably drives up your energy bill.

    When the cooling capacity of your air conditioner fits with the size of your house, it will go through a few cycles each day. Sometimes it will be on, and sometimes it will be off, but your house will always be at a comfortable temperature, and your energy bill will be under control.

     

    Fun Air Conditioner Facts

     

    Interesting Facts About Air Conditioners

     

    National Air Warehouse offers air conditioning units with a wide range of cooling capacities. Contact us today for more help finding the one that is right for your home!

  • The Benefits of Wi-Fi Thermostats in Fall Weather

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    With Labor Day over and September well underway, the next few months of fall will bring highly variable weather. Depending on where you live, you might experience short heat waves, brief cold spells, and huge temperature swings between day and night. This variability can make it hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, which is why you might want to consider installing a Wi-Fi thermostat. Read on to learn more about this technology and why it is ideal for seasons like fall, when the outside temperature is unpredictable.

    What Makes Wi Fi Thermostats Different

    In the past, homeowners typically had two choices for thermostats: programmable and non-programmable thermostats, both of which have benefits and drawbacks. With a non-programmable thermostat, you change the temperature manually, while with a programmable thermostat, you design a heating and cooling program in advance,  based on your schedule. Today’s Wi-Fi thermostats offer both options, which is one significant benefit to this innovative technology.

    However, the most significant advance in Wi-Fi thermostat technology is that it gives you the ability to check the temperature of your house from your smart phone or tablet. The thermostat is connected to the internet, so the information about the current climate in your house is always at your fingertips.

    Advantages of Wi-Fi Thermostats in the Fall

    There are several key advantages to having a Wi-Fi thermostat when the weather is unpredictable during the fall season:

     

    • You can change the temperature in your home from afar when the weather changes. There’s no telling what the weather will do while you are away from home -- whether you are at work, school, or off an a hike through the fall foliage. If it was cold when you left, you might have left the thermostat on so you would return to a warm house -- but an unexpected heat wave could make your house uncomfortably hot when you return. The opposite could also happen if a sudden cold front rolls in, and you open the door to a chilly interior. A Wi-Fi thermometer prevents these problems by making it possible to adjust the temperature from wherever you are.
    • You don’t have to try to predict the weather with a complex thermostat program. Temperature swings and unpredictable weather patterns -- not to mention your owned pack schedule -- can seriously complicate the task of designing a program for your programmable thermostat in the fall. It is far simpler to use a programmable thermostat so that you can quickly respond to unexpected weather events or scheduling changes.
    • You don’t have to interrupt fun fall activities to go change the thermostat. Fall is a great time to make family memories. Whether it’s raking leaves in the backyard, helping your kids with homework, or making pumpkin-themed snacks, you want to make the most of the season. But if you have a non-programmable thermometer, you might have to interrupt these activities to adjust it so that the house doesn’t get too cold as the sun goes down or too warm as the oven heats up for a pumpkin pie. If you have a Wi-Fi thermometer, you can make the change on your phone, so you won’t miss a moment of the fun!

    At National Air Warehouse, you can find multiple Wi-Fi thermometers to meet your needs. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer!

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