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HVAC Blog | National Air Warehouse

  • Choosing between an Upflow and Downflow Furnace for Your Home Building Project

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    If home builders can learn anything from the winter of 2017-2018, it’s that an effective heating systems is essential for a comfortable home. As temperatures have dropped to record lows around the country, home builders need to be aware that more clients will be interested in the ability of their home’s furnace to keep their family safe and warm, regardless of the weather outside. As a home builder, one of the decisions you have to make is whether an upflow furnace or a downflow furnace is the best choice for your project. In order to figure that out, it’s important to examine some of the distinctions between upflow and downflow furnaces, as well as what they might mean for the heating of the home.

    Upflow vs. Downflow Furnaces: The Basic Differences

    At the most basic level, there are key differences in the ways that upflow and downflow furnaces heat and distribute air. With an upflow furnace, the air enters the bottom of the unit, is warmed in the heat exchanger, and then is released from the top of the unit into the ductwork of the home. A downflow furnace works in the exact opposite way: the heat enters the unit from the top, gets warmed in the heat exchanger, and then is released from the bottom of the unit into the ductwork of the home. That means that upflow furnaces are typically situated in a basement or crawl-space, while downflow furnaces must be stored in an attic.

    Considerations for Different Projects

    If you are trying to decide whether an upflow or downflow furnace makes more sense for your project, here are a few things to keep in mind:

     

    • Energy efficiency. Heat rises, so upflow furnaces are often more energy efficient than downflow furnaces. If you’re looking to cut the carbon footprint of your home building project, an upflow furnace can help you reach your efficiency goals.
    • Building and flooring costs. If you’ve already planned a basement for your home building project, this isn’t an issue but if you’re adding a basement or crawl-space to your home building project for the sole purpose of creating a space for an upflow furnace, costs can go up significantly. At the same time, adding reinforced subflooring in the attic for a downflow furnace can also be expensive.
    • Installation challenges. The installation process for downflow furnaces tends to be more difficult, and you have to pay closer attention to building codes requiring reinforced subflooring.
    • Homeowner preference. Some homeowners simply feel more comfortable in rooms where the heat comes below, rather than being dispersed from above. It’s a good idea to check with clients to find out about their preferences.

     

     

    As a homebuilder, you can find everything you need to optimize the HVAC systems of all of your at National Air Warehouse. Contact us today for more information!

  • The Benefits of a Rheem Plenum Adapter Accessory for Home Remodelers

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    When you are remodeling a home or office building, you need to make sure that the gas furnace is sufficient to guarantee a comfortable temperature throughout the newly remodeled space, no matter how cold the winter weather gets. However, things can get tricky if you realize that the size of the cased coil that is required to support the needs of the newly remodeled building is too large for the existing furnace. Read on to learn how a Rheem plenum adapter accessory can help you resolve this problem.

    Rheem Plenum Adapters: The Basics

    At the most basic level, a Rheem plenum adapter can make it possible for a nominal sized cased coil to be installed on the next-smallest size of gas furnace. More specifically, a plenum adapter can allow you to do the following:

    • Fit a 17.5-inch-wide coil 14-inch-wide furnace
    • Fit a 21-inch-wide coil with a 17.5-inch-wide furnace
    • Fit a 24.5-inch-wide coil with a 21-inch-wide furnace

    This might seem simple, but it can make a huge difference for home remodelers, in terms of both time and cost. By using a plenum adapter, you can avoid the hassle and expense of replacing an existing gas furnace that is not sufficient to meet the needs of the remodeled space. Rheem plenum adapters run about 76 dollars, which is nothing compared to the cost of a new furnace. Plus, the installation process for a plenum adapter is relatively simple -- just two steps for an upflow furnace and three steps for a downflow furnace.

    Fitting a Plenum Adapter to an Upflow or Downflow Application

    When you are buying plenum adapter for a gas furnace, you need to make sure that the accessory is designed for the type of furnace you are working with. An upflow system pushes air vertically out of the top of the furnace, usually from a basement. A downflow system pushes air from the bottom of the furnace, down into the vents, usually from an attic. There are slight differences in the designs of plenum adapter accessories for upflow and downflow applications, so you need to make sure you are getting the right one for your system.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers Rheem plenum adapter accessories for upflow and downflow systems. As a home remodeler, you can also find a wide variety of other high-quality products from Rheem, one of our featured brands. Contact us today to learn more about all of our products!

  • Choosing a Heat Strip Size That Can Keep Your Home Warm: The Factors to Consider

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    When you are buying a new furnace or air handler, you may be asked to choose a heat strip size. Depending on the product, heat strip sizes can range from 5 kW to as high as 20 kW. Ultimately, the choice you make can mean the difference between enjoying warm, cozy winter nights at home with your family and shivering through endless evenings of uncomfortable cold, wrapped in blankets and layered clothes.

    Of course, the size of your home is the most important factor, because it determines the volume of space that needs to be heated. However, there are several additional factors you need to consider when choosing the appropriate heat strip size for the furnace in your home. These factors can vary between homes, and they can make a big difference when it comes to making the appropriate decision for a heat strip size. Consider the following:

     

    • The climate in which you live. If your house is located in the Midwest or Northeast,where the temperature regularly drops below freezing in the winter, it is likely that you will need to choose a heat strip size that is larger than the size required for someone living in the Southeast in the same size house. Watching temperatures hit record lows this year, homeowners in the Midwest and Northeast don’t want to take the risk of choosing heat strips that are too small.
    • The insulation in the home. If your home is well-insulated, you may be able to get away with heat strips of a smaller size. However, if your house is poorly insulated, you may need to choose heat strips of a larger size, even if you live in a climate that is generally warm.
    • The size and location of the windows. Depending on size and location, windows can either increase or decrease the heat load of the home. Uninsulated windows can transfer cold air into the home, and if they are drafty, things can get even worse. At the same time, strategically positioned windows can also let in sunlight and decrease the heating needs of your house.

    When you choose heat strips that are above the standard size for your furnace or air handler, you typically have to pay a slightly higher price, but choosing the right size is typically well-worth it for homeowners. For instance, going from 5 kW heat strips to 10 kW heat strips for an upflow air handler can cost as little as 15 dollars -- typically representing an increase of only about 2 percent of the total cost. As a homeowner, it’s usually best to focus on the other relevant factors when choosing athe right heat strip size for your home.
    National Air Warehouse offers furnaces, air handlers, and a wide variety of other HVAC equipment. Contact us today for more information!

  • The Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV): Not Your Average Valve

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    As a result of more stringent energy efficiency regulations in recent years, thermostatic expansion valve (TXV) has become increasingly popular. Today, an indoor TXV is included with most gas furnaces and air conditioning systems on the market -- although it should be noted that these do typically have to be installed separately. If you have a system that did not come with a TXV, it is also possible to buy one separately and install it yourself. For other HVAC components, like air handlers, you may be asked to choose whether or not you want to add a TXV to your order.

    In order to decide whether a TXV makes sense for your system, it is important to know how they work. Read on for a basic overview of how a TXV functions in an HVAC system.

    What A TXV Does (and Does Not) Do

    The TXV makes it possible to precisely regulate the rate at which the liquid refrigerant is transferred into the evaporator in an HVAC system. By making it possible to control the flow of the refrigerant, a TXV offers two major benefits:

    • Improving the efficiency of the system
    • Preventing “floodback” -- that is, keeping excess liquid refrigerant from flowing back into the compressor after it has entered the evaporator

    There are a lot of misconceptions about what a TXV can do, so it is important for buyers to understand the limitations of this valve from the outset. The TXV only regulates the flow of the liquid refrigerant between the compressor and the evaporator. It does not have the capacity to control air temperature, humidity, suction pressure, or head pressure.

    The TXV works to regulate the flow of the liquid refrigerant by reacting to changes in two variables: the pressure in the evaporator, and the temperature of the refrigerant when it is being transferred out of the evaporator. The design of the mechanical design of the TXV makes it possible for the liquid refrigerant flow to be optimized based on the temperature and pressure conditions at any given moment.

    Weighing the Decision to Add a TXV

    Like so many features that boost the efficiency of an HVAC system, the TXV comes with an upfront cost. At the same time, a higher efficiency heating or cooling system will ultimately lower your energy bills and eventually pay itself off. And of course, it’s also better for the environment. You may also get a discount if you are adding a TXV to an order, rather than buying it on its own. You should keep these considerations in mind when deciding whether or not it makes sense to add a TXV to a new order or purchase one for an existing system.
    You can buy a standalone TXV from National Air Warehouse, or you can get a system where a TXV may be included. Contact us today to find out more about how our products can help meet your heating and cooling needs!

  • Is Your HVAC Company Growing a Brand?

    Growing companyBranding is the identity of a company. The stronger the brand message is, the more distinct the company's identity will be. A recognizable brand with a strong identity is one of the foundations of business success, in the HVAC niche and every niche. With this in mind, you should ask yourself if your HVAC company is growing a brand!

    If you think that you might need help in this important area, you'll benefit from the brand-growing tips for HVAC contractors that we are going to share today.

     

    Create a Brand Message

     

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    If you don't have a powerful brand message, your company may not stand out from competitors in a positive way. We believe that coming up with a brand message is a very smart strategy, whether your HVAC company is new or it's been around for years. It's never too late to brainstorm and create a brand message which hits the target with your ideal customers.

    The brand message should be short, succinct and designed to convey the purpose and values of your business. For example, is your company committed to delivering superb customer service to members of the local community. Does the company offer specialized HVAC expertise which makes it a better choice for consumers than other companies? Think about the values and purpose of your company. Then, come up with a brand message which is no longer than one paragraph. You may use this brand message in order to get more from your marketing, advertising and branding efforts.

     

    Come Up With a Customer Avatar

     

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    A customer avatar is a "character". It's a composite of all of your customers. This character is the person that your branding efforts will be aimed at. To create this character, review any information about your customers that you have. Are they usually younger, or older? Are they typically male or female? Which products or services did they buy? Also, think about conversations that you've had with your clients. Did your clients share information about themselves and their passions and interests? Did they share information about how they feel about your company?

    Once you've done some hard thinking, begin to put together the customer avatar. It might be a middle-aged male with a middle-class income and an interest in home improvement. It might be a younger woman with a lower income who needed a freestanding air conditioning unit for her rental apartment. After you have the avatar, give him or her a name and write up a little backstory. This may seem a bit silly, but it isn't.

    Keep your character in mind when you're planning your marketing strategies. You'll find that branding and marketing with the character in mind allows you to target the right types of prospective customers.

     

    Work On Long-term Relationships with Clients

     

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    Sometimes, the best branding is based on a five-star business reputation. This type of stellar reputation may be marketed easily. It speaks for itself in many ways. The best way to get the five-star reviews that you need in order to build your HVAC brand is to put a lot of care into nurturing your long-term relationships with your clients.

    When you get customer loyalty, you'll get good reviews, word-of-mouth advertising and referrals. So, consider your relationships with your clients as branding for your business and act accordingly. One option might be rewarding loyal clients by offering them discounts, inviting them to special events (Open Houses where new HVAC systems are displayed, for example, and drinks and snacks are offered) and giving them gifts when they refer clients to you.

     

    Curate Your Online Reputation

     

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    You need to care for your company's image and this means keeping tabs on what is said about your company online. This is called reputation management and it's one of the key elements of growing an HVAC brand. For example, if you get a bad review online, spring into action by telling the unhappy customer that you're sorry about his or her bad experience. Suggest things that you can do in order to resolve the situation. For example, if one up your technicians showed up late for the job or didn't show up at all, offer a free service or a free hour of labor, or a partial refund.

    Do all that you can to neutralize bad reviews before they can damage your brand. Also, reward great feedback with sincere thanks.

     

    Try These Branding Tips Today

     

    Branding has many "moving parts" and it's something that every smart HVAC company owner spends time on. This is why we hope that you try our branding tips today. Also, if you're really busy and you don't think that you have time for branding, which is so important to your company's future, you may outsource the tasks.

    Lots of companies offer branding services for affordable rates. Just be sure to choose a wonderful provider company with a strong and positive reputation.

    Author Bio:
    Ryan Holden is a former HVAC Technician and Director of Progressive Heating & Air based in San Diego and founder of HVAC News Today.

  • Fighting the Spread of the Flu: How a Germicidal Ultraviolet Air Treatment Kit Can Help

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    Flu season has arrived, and health officials around the United States are projecting that this year’s flu season will be worse than usual. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there have been early outbreaks in several regions, which tends to be a bad sign for the country as a whole. The flu season in the Southern Hemisphere was also harsher than usual, which is another indicator of a severe flu season in North America.

    Even worse, health officials are reporting that the standard flu vaccine may not be effective against the dominant strain of flu (H3N2). This strain acquired a mutation that decreased the flu shot’s effectiveness in Australia to only 10 percent during the flu season in the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, the H3N2 strain often makes people sicker than some of the other flu strains.

    In the face of concerns about the severity of this year’s flu season, it is important to do everything you can to protect the health of your family. Read on to learn more about how a UV Air Treatment Kit can help.

    How a Germicidal Ultraviolet Air Treatment Kit Works to Fight the Flu

    When viruses like the flu are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, it irreparably damages their DNA. This prevents the flu from being spread from one person to another, regardless of whether or not the flu can evade the vaccine. Thus, treating indoor air with a germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit can destroy the viral particles that might otherwise make your family sick.

    Choosing an indoor air treatment kit as a strategy to fight the flu just makes sense. With the holidays in full swing and temperatures dropping below zero in many places around the country, your family is probably spending a lot more time inside your home. When people are in close quarters, it simply raises the odds that someone will bring in the flu, and soon, everyone will get sick.

    If you’re a business owner, a germicidal UV air treatment kit can also help your employees stay healthy during flu season. There is nothing more stressful than getting short-staffed by an office-wide flu outbreak, so an air treatment kit can be a great addition to your building during flu season.
    National Air Warehouse offers a 24-volt germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit that can aid in the fight against many types of pathogens, including the flu virus. Contact us today to find out more about how this innovative technology can help keep your family and your employees healthy this flu season!

  • Considering a Ductless Heat Pump for Your Home

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    Last summer on the blog, we talked about the potential benefits of ductless air conditioners for home remodeling projects. Now that winter is here, it’s time to talk about ductless heat pumps. Ductless heat pumps, also known as ductless mini-complete systems, are very similar to ductless air conditioners, in that they serve as standalone climate-control systems that don’t use ducting. Thus, they are ideal for living spaces in your house where the other viable option would be baseboard heating. If you are considering a ductless heat pump for part of your home, read on to learn more about the energy-saving benefits of these systems and some of the cost considerations you should think about.

    The Energy-Saving Benefits of a Ductless Heat Pump

    The primary explanation for why many homeowners today are choosing ductless heat pumps over traditional baseboard heating is simple: the energy savings. From the start, ductless systems are more energy efficient than traditional heating systems because the mere existence of ductwork inevitably results in a loss of energy. According to one estimate, at least 25 percent of the energy generated by the HVAC system is lost to the ductwork in the average home.

    Another reason why ductless systems are more efficient is that they have inverter-driven compressors. Unlike traditional compressors in HVAC systems, which turn on and off in response to changes in the system’s needs, inverter-driven compressors simply slow down or speed up. Compressor start-up requires a lot more energy than compressor speed-up, so ductless heat pumps end up being a lot more efficient.

    It is important to note that the degree of energy efficiency varies between ductless heat pump systems. You can compare systems based on their SEER ratings. Ductless heat pumps with a 14 SEER rating have good efficiency, but there are also systems on the market today with SEER ratings as high 33.

    Cost Considerations for Consumers

    When it comes to deciding whether or not to choose a ductless heat pump for a living space in your home, cost can be a major factor. Many consumers initially shy away from ductless heat pumps because of the relatively high upfront costs, but the significant increase in energy efficiency can make up for your initial investment in the long-term.

    Moreover, in some states and localities, there are tax credits that can help offset the upfront cost of a ductless heat pump system. If you’re looking to take advantage of a tax credit, make sure to find out whether / which types of heat pumps qualify for a tax credit in your area when you are choosing a system.  

     

    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of ductless heat pump options. For more help deciding which one is right for your living space, contact us today!

  • Wi-Fi Thermostats Thermostats as Holiday Gifts

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    Now that Thanksgiving is over and the holiday season is officially in full swing, odds are good that you’re on the lookout for the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend or family member. One unique gift idea that you might want to consider this year is a wi-fi thermostat. Unlike traditional programmable and non-programmable thermostats, a wi-fi thermostat is connected to the internet, which means that you can access information about the climate in your home no matter where you are. Even more importantly, you can make changes to the current state of your heating and cooling systems so that the climate of your home will be exactly the way you want it when you get home. This innovative technology can be a great option for lots of people on your holiday shopping list.

    Who Needs a Wi-Fi Thermostat?

    The best kind of gift that you can get for a friend or family member is one that they will actually use and truly appreciate. Here are a few of the people on your holiday shopping list who might benefit from what a wi-fi thermostat has to offer:

     

    • The Mobile App Enthusiast. More and more Americans are looking to manage every aspect of their lives from a single screen. Because a wi-fi thermostat is always connected to the internet, it can always be accessed from a smart phone or tablet. If someone on your gift list is always on the hunt for the latest in mobile technology, a wi-fi thermostat is a great option.
    • The Tech Junkie. If someone on your holiday shopping list just loves the bells and whistles of the latest technology, a wi-fi thermostat won’t disappoint. Some of the latest products on the market offer high-tech benefits like self-programming features and touch screens.
    • The Busy Parent. Because a wi-fi thermostat can be accessed from anywhere, it can be a major stress reliever for busy parents. With a wi-fi thermostat, parents won’t have to remember to reset the thermostat when shuttling kids between school and soccer practice.
    • The Environmental Advocate. If someone on your holiday shopping list is always looking for new ways to combat climate change, wi-fi thermostats offer a variety of energy-saving benefits. For instance, many of the wi-fi thermostats on the market today are Energy Star certified, and some have an auto-away mode that saves energy when you aren’t home -- making it easier to reduce your carbon footprint without even thinking about it.

     

     

    National Air Warehouse offers multiple wi-fi thermostats that can meet the needs of anyone on your holiday shopping list. We also offer free home shipping anywhere in the United States, completely tax free (except Florida). Contact us today to learn more about our offerings!

  • Why More Home Builders Are Choosing Elastomeric Foam Tubing Insulation

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    Last week on the blog, we talked about the importance of choosing high quality copper refrigerant tubing insulation. Right now, one of the top choices for homeowners and home builders alike is insulation made from elastomeric foam. Elastomeric foam is an innovative material made of polymers that are simultaneously characterized by both viscosity and elasticity. Read on to learn why elastomeric foam tubing insulation is ideal for home builders.

    Easing the Installation Process

    For home builders, the installation process for foam tubing can sometimes be a challenge. However, the innate properties of elastomeric tubing make installation fast and easy. Here are a few reasons why most home builders prefer elastomeric foam over other types of foam insulation materials:

    • Elastomeric foam is a flexible material, which makes it a lot easier to install than insulation made from stiffer foam materials. If you’ve ever spent excessive time trying to force a foam tube over a line, only to have the stiff foam crack in your hand, you know why flexible foam is ideal.
    • At the same time, elastomeric foam is a tough material that is ready for on-site handling. As a home builder, you don’t want foam insulation that gets smashed upon the slightest contact with the tools in the back of your truck.
    • You don’t have to worry about adding a vapor retarder. Elastomeric foam tubing has a built-in vapor barrier, which means you can skip that step in the installation process.

    Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

    As a home builder, customer satisfaction is one of your top priorities. Therefore, choosing high quality foam tubing insulation when setting up an HVAC system for your project just makes sense. Elastomeric foam tubing insulation, which is used to protect the copper refrigerant lines that run between the condenser and the evaporator coil of an air conditioning system, provided three key benefits for building owners:

     

    • Preventing condensation that causes mold, which can be a major hassle for your customers to deal with.
    • Reducing energy loss, which can help keep your customers’ regular energy bills low.
    • Resisting ultraviolet radiation, which can ensure that your customers won’t have to deal with repairs or replacements for a long time.

     

    For home builders, the choice is simple. With elastomeric foam tubing, you get an easy installation process and a lot of happy customers. National Air Warehouse offers elastomeric pipe insulation with both 7/8” and 3/4” diameters, and we ship free to anywhere in the United States. Contact us today to learn more about our products!

  • The Importance of High Quality Copper Refrigerant Tubing Insulation

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    Last week on the blog, we talked about how helpful it can be to address issues with your air conditioning system in the fall, when issues are still on your mind after a long summer. When it comes to the functioning of your air conditioning system, the copper refrigerant lines that run between the condenser and the evaporator coil play an essential role. The larger of the two lines -- known as the suction line -- carries a cool gas, so it must be insulated with tubing. Read on to learn how the quality of this insulation can affect your HVAC system.

    Protecting Copper Refrigerant Lines with Insulation

    There are a few key problems that are associated with refrigerant line insulation, so it is essential to choose refrigerant tubing insulation that addresses these concerns. If you’re looking for tubing insulation for copper refrigerant lines, make sure it offers adequate protection against the following threats:

     

    • Condensation. Whether your copper lines are located indoors or outdoors, the copper line will likely be exposed to air that is warmer than the refrigerant that it carries. When warm air hits the cool copper line, it can lead to condensation. If your insulation does not provide an adequate barrier between the air and the copper line, it can create a moist, humid atmosphere within the insulation tube that is an excellent breeding ground for mold. Therefore, you should look for insulation with a closed-cell structure that prevents warm outside air from reaching the copper line.
    • Energy loss. Keeping the refrigerant in the suction line at a cool temperature is essential for maintaining the efficiency of the air conditioning system. The insulation basically acts like a thermos that keeps the refrigerant cool. If the refrigerant is exposed to warm outside air, more energy will be needed to keep it at the appropriate temperature. Again, choosing tubing insulation with a closed-cell structure can effectively guard against this problem and help keep your energy bills low.  
    • Ultraviolet radiation. If your copper line is located outdoors, it is essential to choose insulation that provides adequate protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Even if the insulation is well-structured to prevent thermal energy losses and protect against condensation, long-term UV radiation can degrade the surface of the insulation and put your copper lines at risk. In order to avoid this hazard, you should look for tubing insulation that has been treated with a finish that is designed specifically to protect against surface degradation from UV exposure.

     

     

    If you’re looking for high-quality copper refrigerant tubing insulation, National Air Warehouse has what you need. We offer six-foot length tubing with both 7/8” and 3/4” inside diameters. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings!

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