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  • Ways to Go Green

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    Just a few years ago, the term “green living” would have brought up visions of treehouse hippies gardening in the nude. But not anymore. Society seems to have finally accepted that we are responsible for the state of our planet and that it’s the only one we will ever have.

    If you’re looking for ways to give back to Mother Nature, keep reading for environmentally friendly changes you can make to your home and lifestyle without sacrificing your quality of life.

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    Buying green

    If you’ve yet to make your home purchase, you’ll have more options than ever when it comes to buying a green home. The Huffington Post explains that your first priority is to determine the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling system, which is what accounts for the vast majority of your energy consumption. If you’re looking for a home with solar power, discuss with the builder what types of materials have been used in each panel’s construction.

    Many utilize heavy metals, which are soldered with a lead-based solution. These can’t be recycled, and if damaged or at the end of their life cycle, may do more harm to the environment than good. Alternate forms of renewable energy include wind power and hydroelectricity. Unfortunately, these technologies remain expensive for the standard consumer. A geothermal heat pump, according to Money Talks News at CBS, utilizes geothermal heat and can help keep your home cool and comfortable without severely impacting your local environment.

    One of the most important features of an environmentally sustainable home is its location in proximity to community amenities and services you’ll use. If you are truly interested in lowering your carbon footprint, consider buying a home in a walkable location. By walking or biking to and from the grocery store, park, school and work, you will not only save money, but you’ll have zero negative effect on the atmosphere. As an added bonus, these activities are great for your cardiovascular health and may help you maintain a healthy weight.

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    Daily changes

    When you already own your home, there are still numerous upgrades you can make, including installing energy-efficient appliances and windows that keep the outside elements where they belong. These, however, may be cost prohibitive for the environmentally aware homeowner on a budget. Redfin asserts that there are many other home improvements that that won’t break the bank – many, in fact, are free – that you can implement yourself without bringing in an expensive contractor. These include sprucing up your landscape with native plants and performing preventative maintenance on your hot water heater each year. Even simple things such as enrolling in paperless billing, switching your halogen light bulbs to LED or CFL lights, fixing leaky faucets and using a rain barrel to collect water for irrigation can have a big impact.

    Your home’s insulation can also lower your utility bills and therefore your environmental footprint. Even if you upgrade to an energy-efficient HVAC system and keep it set to 68 degrees in the winter and 72 degrees in the summer, it will still work double time if your home can’t maintain its temperature. EnergyStar.gov explains that home improvements made to a typical home might include sealing air leaks and insulating to meet 2012 International Energy Conservation Code installation requirements.

    The chemicals you use to clean your home every day can also burden the environment. LiveScience explains that certain chemicals, such as VOCs, are used to enhance these products, but can actually cause impaired neurological functions. When inhaled, these and other chemicals can affect the respiratory system.

    While green cleaners, which are commonly touted as top-shelf products at your local grocery store, are an environmentally friendly option, they are not without their downfalls. They can be expensive and may require more work in the form of additional scrubbing to remove heavy stains. Many also don’t kill germs. A viable alternative for most household surfaces is to use a mixture of vinegar and citric acid, which will clean, disinfect and help reduce mold spore growth.

    You can avoid tracking many potentially harmful germs and bacteria into your home, which will eliminate the need for harsh cleaners, by leaving your shoes at the door and washing your hands as soon as you arrive home.

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    Garden glee

    There are numerous environmental impacts of growing your own food, and they are all good, assuming you avoid harmful pesticides and insecticides. While you have access to a vast array of fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, these items have likely traveled hundreds to thousands of miles via train, plane and truck to get to your local store shelf. Local produce, either sourced from the farmers market or grown in your own backyard, eliminates much of the emissions associated with food growth. As an added benefits, adding plants to your property where there previously were none will further help offset your carbon footprint by absorbing CO2 in the air.

    Eco Friendly Heat Pumps

    More ways to go green

    • Create a homemade compost bin
    • Shop with reusable grocery bags or make your own out of repurposed T-shirts
    • Avoid bottled water
    • Use cold water for doing laundry
    • Turn off the lights and water when you leave a room
    • Better yet, avoid flipping the light switch up and utilize natural light
    • If you must drive, go the speed limit and reduce your trips to as few as possible
    • Shutdown electronics when not in use – sleep mode is still uses energy
    • Contact your local energy company see if you qualify for green power incentives
    • Opt out of unnecessary mailings, such as credit card offers
    • Reuse office papers by allowing your children to draw on the back before recycling
    • Switch to digital subscriptions for your magazines and periodicals
    • Organize a community swapping event
    • When you dine out, eat at local restaurants that source their food locally
    • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees or less
    • Unplug phone and computer chargers when not in use
    • Craft using recycled materials
    • If you have a baby, switch to cloth diapers, which can prevent thousands of pounds of added landfill mass over the course of three years

    As you can see, there are a myriad of ways to go green whether you’re buying, renovating or simply trying to be more aware of the environment. Even implementing a few of these changes will have a positive impact today and for future generations.

  • Sustainable, Smart, and Cost Efficient? Here’s Your Guide to Smart Home Technology

     

    Beige siding house exterior with covered porch and trimmed bushes in front. View of soft blue staircase with narrow walkway.

     

    Sustainable, Smart, and Cost Efficient? Here’s Your Guide to Smart Home Technology

    Utilities can be taxing on both the environment and your wallet. Sometimes we even waste utilities when we don’t need to, which usually comes as quite a shock when the bill comes in. We scratch our heads and think, “wow, there’s no way I used 897 kilowatt-hours of electricity this month.” (The average U.S. household uses that much each month and 10,766 kWh per year.)

    Fortunately, there are several in-home tech products that will save you money on your utility bills and help the environment at the same time.

    How Much Electricity Do You Use Around the House?

     

    Each month, your utility bill is calculated based on how many kilowatt-hours are consumed.

    So just how far does one kilowatt-hour go?

    A kilowatt-hour, which is a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for one hour, could power ten incandescent 100-watt lightbulbs for an hour. One kwh costs about $0.12 (so leaving the lights on, despite what your mother said about turning them off to save money, isn’t as expensive as it seems). Check out this table, which lists common household appliances and how much energy they use in an average month:

    Appliance average kWh used each month and average cost

     Appliance  Appliance Average kWh used each month Average cost each month
    Smartphone .08 kWh $0.01
    Tablet .9 kWh $0.11
    One LED Lightbulb 1.2 kWh $0.14
    Big-screen TV 2.5 kWh $0.30
    Wireless modem and router 7.5 kWh $0.90
    Gaming System 8.3 kWh $1.00
    One 60-watt Incandescent Lightbulb 18.3 kWh $2.20
    Desktop Computer 25.0 kWh $3.00
    Refrigerator 29.1 kWh $3.50
    Washer and Dryer 69.44 kWh $8.33
    Water Heater 416.7 kWh $50.00
    Heating and cooling 640.5 kWh $76.86

     

    So does that mean you have to put on a sweater or take a cold shower? Not necessarily. If you know what you’re doing, you can save hundreds of kWh each month by utilizing the latest in-home technology.

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    Heating and Cooling

    • Smart Thermostat: One of the most common smart home additions, smart thermostats are arguably the best way to save the most money. As most of your utility bills are heating and cooling, installing and using a smart thermostat can have a huge impact on your bills. Additionally, most are compatible with smart home assistants like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or other automated assistants. Smart thermostats work by keeping temperature settings consistent. Some have sensors to keep tabs on hot and cold spots in your house, and you can program them to adjust temperatures in your home while you’re gone at work, on vacation, or sleeping, so you’re not wasting energy on climate control you don’t need.
    • Motorized Shades: Another great way to money, motorized shades are often overlooked in the heating and cooling department. These shades allow you to set specific times when they should open or close. Almost all the settings can be done from an app and will work whether you’re home or not. Some of the even smarter ones can auto adjust to the temperature outside to maximize your savings. You will end up saving money by keeping the sun out when it’s hot in the day or choosing to let the light warm up your space. You can also opt for honeycomb shades, which are designed especially for insulation, but any shade or drape with the right spacing will help slash your heating costs.

    Average Savings: Between $131 and $145 per year

     

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    Light Use

    • Smart Lights: Smart lights, like Philips Hue and LIFX, can save you cash through programming, motion detection and remote access to your lights when you’re away from home (for security during vacation purposes), but that’s not all there is to it. Smart lights are LEDs, which cost significantly less to operate than traditional incandescent bulbs.

    Average Savings: Between $80 and $120 per year

    Games, TVs and Other Appliances

    • Surge Protectors: Certain small appliances such as video game consoles are known as drain devices. This means that even when someone isn’t using it, the device is still using energy. This is where conservation based surge protectors like the Belkin Conserve Switch Surge Protector come in! These surge protectors allow you switch things off with a remote, which prevents drain devices from wasting energy. Other types, like ThinkEco, cut down consumption when your plugged-in devices are in standby mode.

    Average Savings: Between $60 and $80 per year

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    Laundry

    • Energy-efficient washers:Though there aren’t smart washers per se, energy-efficient washers are a smart way to save. Certified ENERGY STAR products can help you save on both electricity and water, so you get even more bang for your buck when you pay your utility bill water bill. Typically, an ENERGY STAR washing machine uses 25 percent less electricity than its non-eco-friendly counterparts do. Another tip to save money while washing clothes is to waste them with warm (not hot) or cold water.

    Average Savings: Between $75 and $125 per year

     

    How Much Water Does Your Household Use?

    While estimates vary based on location, the average U.S. household uses about 90 gallons of water every day. Unfortunately, most of that water is wasted through toilet flushing and showers. Dishwashers, washing machines and outdoor watering also waste a large amount of water. We’ve created a chart that shows how much water common household items use and how much it costs.

     Appliance Average Gallons Used Each Time Average Cost Per Use
    Bath 36 gallons $0.14
    Shower (10 Minutes) with ordinary shower head 50 gallons $0.20
    Shower (10 Minutes) with water-saving showerhead 20 gallons $0.08
    Dishwasher (non-ENERGY STAR) 16 gallons $0.06
    Dishwasher (ENERGY STAR) 6 gallons $0.02
    Toilet Flush (Regular) 3 gallons $0.01
    Toilet Flush (low-flow) 1.6 gallons Less than $.01
    Outdoor watering (30 minutes) 60 gallons $0.24

     

    Other than cutting down on water consumption by investing in ENERGY STAR appliances, doing fewer loads of laundry and taking shorter showers, there are a few devices you can add to your home to drastically reduce your water consumption.

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    Showers and Faucets

    • High-efficiency faucet aerator: Aerators are a great way to save money on water. They work by adding air to your water. This means you can keep your water pressure while cutting your water usage in half!
    • Smart home water meter: While they don’t give you direct savings, smart home water meters can be a great investment. By showing you how much water you use and where it goes, you can adjust your water usage in certain areas and save money.

    Average Savings: About $100 per year

     

    Toilets

    • Smart toilets:Smart toilets are beneficial in two ways: they save water and they can help eliminate toilet paper waste. The EPA states that toilets labeled with WaterSense labels can reduce water usage by 20-60% and save around 13,000 gallons of water per year.

    Average Savings: About $100 per year

    Smart Home Security

    • Smart Home Security System: A smart home security system is another way to save money, albeit indirectly. While the products themselves don’t save you money, having them can help decrease your insurance bill. Think of it like having airbags in the car – your insurer knows that you’re taking measures to mitigate risk, which means your rates are likely to go down. The latest-and-greatest security systems monitor your home’s electricity and wiring, and record activity that goes on inside and outside your house. Sometimes you can even get a claims-free credit, which offers you a discount if you haven’t made a claim in the past.

    Average Savings: Up to 20% of your normal bill

     

    Original article from Redfin

     

  • Choosing the Right Programmable Thermostat for Your Business

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    In last week’s post, we talked about some of the functional and cost-related benefits that programmable thermostats offer for businesses. Once you’ve made the decision that a programmable thermostat is right for your business, you’re faced with a wide array of choices. Here are a few of the options you have to consider when deciding which programmable thermostat best meets your business’s needs.

     

    • Single-Stage vs. Multi-Stage Programmable Thermostat

     

    Whether you need a single-stage programmable thermostat or a multi-stage option depends on the heating system in your building. A single-stage programmable thermostat will be sufficient if your building relies on a single source of heat (such as a furnace or a heat pump) and a single source of cool air (such as an air conditioning system), and if both of these sources provide hot or cold air at just one level. However, if your business’s system has inputs from two heat sources--such as a heat pump and a boiler, or a heat pump and a solar panel--you should look for a programmable thermostat that offers up to two-stage heat alongside one-stage cool.

     

    • Heat Pumps vs. Conventional Systems

     

    Some programmable thermostats are designed to work specifically with heat pump systems, while others are intended for use with conventional systems. You can also find products on the market that work well with both system types. When choosing a programmable thermostat, make sure that the type you choose aligns with the heating system in your building.

     

    • System Programming Options

     

    Some products on the market allow you to program your thermostat to correspond with a weekday/weekend schedule, which is ideal for businesses that close on weekends or have different weekend hours. Instead of having to run the same program every 24 hours, you can create a 5-2 day program or a 5-1-1 day program. That way, if your business shuts down on the weekend, you don’t have to worry about remembering to reprogram on Friday night so you don’t accidentally drain your budget by pumping in warm or cold air when there is no one in the office or the store.

     

    • Programmable/Non-Programmable Thermostats

     

    While it is clear that programmable thermostats offer a wide range of benefits for businesses, there may still be times when you may find yourself wanting manual control over your thermostat. For instance, in the face of an unexpected heat wave or cold spell, you probably want to take full control over your thermostat to make sure your employees and customers stay comfortable. If you want to prepare for such circumstances, you should look for a programmable/non-programmable thermostat, which can be changed over when needed.
    National Air Warehouse offers programmable and non-programmable thermostats that can meet the needs of any business or homeowner. Contact us today for more help choosing the right option for you!

  • The Benefits of Programmable Thermostats for Businesses

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    No matter what type of business you run, keeping the building at a comfortable temperature is a key priority. If you’re in retail, you want your customers to feel comfortable enough to browse the shelves for impulse buys, even after they’ve found what they were initially looking for. If you’re in charge of an office, you want to make sure that the temperature of the building doesn’t interfere with work productivity. At the same time, as a business owner or manager, you also have to consider the costs associated with heating and cooling.

    When you’re trying to achieve an optimal temperature balance on a tight budget, you may want to think about getting a programmable thermostat. Read on to learn why programmable thermostats make sense in business environments.

    Programming Your Workplace Environment in Advance

    With traditional, non-programmable thermostats, someone in the office has to set the temperature manually in order to ensure that the building remains at the right temperature. Whether you plan to do it yourself or rely on one of your employees, manual management of the thermostat poses a risk for unintended consequences. For instance, if someone accidentally forgets to turn down the thermostat for the night in the dead of winter, you may find that heating costs are starting to eat into your budget. At the same time, when someone overlooks the need to turn on the air conditioner, customers and employees alike may find themselves sweaty and uncomfortable in the heat of summer, which can lower sales and/or productivity. With a programmable thermostat, you can reduce the risk of human error by setting the thermostat to be on when you need it and off when you don’t.

    In addition, a programmable thermostat allows you to prepare for expected changes in temperature. During the winter, you probably don’t want to run your heater at night, but if you program your thermostat to start running an hour before people start arriving for work, you can ensure that they won’t spend their first hour trying to thaw their fingers instead of advancing organizational goals. If you live in a place where there is a temperature swing in the summer, you can do the same thing with the air conditioning--making a plan to ensure that the cooling system turns on in time for the heat of the day--but no sooner--and turns off by the time people start to head home.

    Key Features for Business Owners

    Aside from the general benefits of being able to program your thermostat, there are a few other benefits that many programmable thermostats offer for businesses. These include:

     

    • A warranty, which will ensure that you are making a good investment when you buy a programmable thermostat.
    • Power source options, so you can decide whether it is more cost-effective for you to use batteries or hardwiring to run your thermostat.
    • Low upfront costs, which typically range between $85 and $125.
    • Free shipping -- if you order from National Air Warehouse!

     
    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of programmable thermostats that can meet the needs of business owners around the country. Contact us today to find the right product for you!

  • Insulated Flexible Duct Decisions: Price Considerations for Cost-Savvy Customers

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    In last week’s post, we talked about the performance considerations that homeowners and home builders must make when choosing between insulated flexible duct options. When it comes to the choice between products, cost is often the other major factor that you may be considering. Whether you’re trying to optimize the heating and cooling system in your own home or working to meet the needs of your clients as a home builder, it is important to ensure that the duct you choose falls within your short-term and long-term budget. There are two main factors that affect the prices of insulated flexible ducts: diameter and R-value. Read on to learn more about the direct (and indirect) costs (and savings) associated with each.

    The Impacts of Duct Diameter and R-Value on Cost

    In general, the lengths of insulated flexible ducts are standardized around 25 feet, regardless of their diameter. That way, you always have the option of cutting the duct to whatever length you  need. As duct diameter increases, so does the amount of insulation in a 25-foot-long duct, which explains the simultaneous increase in price. When you think about buying a duct with a larger diameter, you also have to consider the cost of the supports that you will need to prevent the duct from sagging when you install it. Ideally, you want to prevent the duct from sagging by more than about two-and-a-half inches, so with large-diameter ducts, you should plan to us a support every four feet.

    As you consider the upfront costs of ducts, the other key factor is the R-value. The R-value indicates the effectiveness of the insulation, with a higher R-value associated with higher effectiveness. Insulated flexible ducts can range between R4 and R8, and the price increases for higher R-values. At the same time, choosing a duct with a higher R-value may save you money in the long run--especially if you live in a cold area--since ducts with higher R-values are more effective for trapping heat and can therefore help lower your energy bills.

    The Relationship between R-Value and Duct Diameters: Ratings vs. True R-Values

    When you’re thinking about energy savings, it is also important to acknowledge the interplay between R-value and duct diameter. A duct with a 6-inch diameter and a duct with a 14-inch diameter may both be rated R6, but the true R-value -- that is, the true effectiveness of the insulation for retaining heat -- is higher for the 14-inch duct, simply because the larger amount of material makes it harder for heat to escape. That means that R-value ratings are can only truly be compared for ducts of the same diameter. Therefore, the discrepancy between R-value ratings and true R-values is another factor that you should keep in mind as you weigh the short-term and long-term financial costs of different insulated flexible duct options.
    At National Air Warehouse, you can find competitively priced insulated flexible ducts with R6 and R8 ratings, ranging in diameter from 4 inches to 20 inches. Contact us today for more help finding the right one for your project!

  • Choosing Between Insulated Flexible Duct Options for Your Home: Performance Considerations for Homeowners and Home Builders

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    Last week on the blog, we talked about installing and/or replacing ducts in a mobile home. Today, we’re going to discuss the insulated flexible ductwork choices that can work for any type of home or business. For home builders who are looking to install ductwork for the first time or homeowners who are looking to repair ducts that are faulty and/or damaged, it is important to recognize the differences between the different options on the market -- and what these differences mean in terms of the performance of the product.

    How R-Value Affects the Performance of an Insulated Flexible Duct

    When you are considering the performance of insulated flexible ducts, the measure you want to look at is the thermal resistance, also known as the R-value. The R-value is a measure of the effectiveness of the insulation. For an insulated flexible duct, this value is determined by factors such as the composition of the insulation material, its thickness, and its density. A higher R-value means that the insulation will be more effective, which is particularly important in cold climates, where high-level insulation performance is essential in order to keep the building warm when temperatures drop below freezing.

    The Performance Benefits of a Metalized Jacket for an Insulated Flexible Duct

    Another aspect of an insulated flexible duct that can play a role in its performance is its metalized jacket. You’ll find metalized jackets offered on insulated flexible ducts for most types of buildings because they offer protective benefits. Specifically, the metalized jacket can keep water out, which reduces the risk that moisture will interfere with the functioning of your heating and cooling system. The metalized jacket also provides a protective barrier against other potential sources of damage to the duct, such as dust buildup or animals that chew through the insulation.

    Some metalized jackets, commonly known as “silver jackets,” have an additional performance benefit -- they absorb noise. For homeowners who are looking to stifle disruptive sounds, a silver flex metalized jacket noise absorption is a significant performance benefit when choosing between insulated flexible ducts. If your vision of top-performing ductwork is a duct that supports a quiet atmosphere, a duct with a silver metalized jacket is probably your best option.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers high-performing flexible ducts that can meet the needs of any homeowner or home builder. Contact us today for more information about our products!

  • Installing or Replacing a Duct for a Mobile Home: Getting the Parts You Need

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    Mobile homes are on the rise in the United States. In 2016 alone, over 81,000 mobile homes were sold and shipped, which was a 15 percent increase over 2015. According to the latest survey data, there are seventeen states in which at least one out of every ten housing units is a mobile home, and in some states, that number is closer to one in five. If you’re a home remodeler (or a mobile home resident yourself), you need to be ready to deal with possible heating and cooling system challenges, such as a situation where you need to install or replace some of the ductwork. Read on for more information about choosing a flexible mobile home duct.

    Choosing High Quality Insulation for a Flexible Mobile Home Duct

    One of the defining factors that determines the quality of a flexible mobile home duct is the effectiveness and durability of the insulation. In fact, the reason that most mobile home owners find themselves having to replace a flexible duct is that there has been damage to the insulation. For instance, an animal like a mouse might have chewed through the insulation, or the insulation could be damaged by the buildup of mold or mildew. Not only does insulation damage reduce the effectiveness of the mobile home’s heating and cooling system, but it can also make it easier for dirt and dust to build up in the ductwork, or even for animals or reptiles to take up residence.

    When you are choosing a new flexible duct for a mobile home, you should look for an option with an insulation rating of at least R4. The R-value is an indicator of a material’s insulating effectiveness, and an R4 value is considered to be acceptable for mobile home duct insulation material.

    The Size of the Duct: Length and Diameter Considerations

    When choosing a flexible mobile home duct, there are two size considerations: the length and the diameter. Usually, it’s best to find a duct that is at least 25 feet long. Even if it’s more than you need, you can always cut it shorter to fulfill the specifications of your heating and cooling systems.

    More importantly, you need to determine the appropriate diameter to fit the mobile home’s heating and cooling system. Duct diameters range between 8 and 14 inches, and the price varies based on the diameter. A duct with a diameter of 8 inches may be less than 100 dollars, while you can expect to pay closer to 200 for a duct of the same length with a 14-inch diameter, because of the extra insulation material.
    No matter what diameter you’re looking for, National Air Warehouse has the insulated flexible home duct you need. Contact us today for more information!

  • The Costs and Benefits of Replacing a Centralized Heating and Cooling System with a Ductless System

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    Traditionally, ductless air conditioners are used in single-room settings, such as a room addition or garage conversion. However, some homeowners today are considering replacing their entire centralized heating and cooling systems with an entirely ductless system. This approach is unusual, but it is becoming increasingly popular as concerns about energy efficiency grow. Read on for more information that can help you decide if going entirely ductless is the right choice for your home.

    The Benefits of an Entirely Ductless System

    There are two main reasons why homeowners today are deciding to replace their centralized heating and cooling systems with ductless systems: environmental concerns and energy costs. As the threat of climate change grows , many homeowners are looking for ways to lower their carbon footprint. Cost-savvy homeowners are also looking to find ways to lower their monthly energy bills. Replacing a centralized heating and cooling system with a ductless alternative can accomplish both goals. Consider the following realities:

    • By some estimates, about 25 percent of the energy generated in a centralized heating and cooling system gets lost to the ductwork -- a non-issue with ductless systems.
    • The inner workings of a ductless system are inherently conducive to energy savings. In a centralized heating and cooling system, the compressor turns on and off in response to changes in the system’s needs, but with a ductless system, the compressor only speeds up or slows down, which is less energy-intensive.

    Homeowners may also opt to make the switch from to a fully ductless system if there are varying climate control needs in different parts of the home. For instance, in a home where several renters each have a room but share a central living area, a ductless system can enable each tenant to choose the temperature of their own room. For empty-nesters whose kids have left for college and who rarely spend time in rooms other than the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom, it simply doesn’t make sense to use a centralized heating system that unnecessarily keeps empty rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

    The Upfront Costs of Ductless Systems

    The primary deterrent for homeowners who are considering replacing a centralized system with a ductless system is the upfront cost. Depending on the cooling capacity, cooling efficiency, and brand, a ductless air conditioner can range in cost from around $1000 to around $3,300. The energy savings may make up for the upfront costs in the long-run, but you have to recognize that adopting an entirely ductless heating and cooling system for your home is going to be a significant initial investment.
    Whether you are looking for a ductless system for a single room or for multiple rooms in your home, National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of high-quality products. Contact us today for more information!

  • Your Guide to Choosing a Standalone TXV: Sizing, Types, and Costs

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    In an earlier post, we covered the basics of the Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) -- what it does (and does not do), plus some of the considerations you have to make when deciding whether or not to add a TXV to your purchase or purchase a standalone TXV for an existing system. With newer systems, you may not have to make that choice at all, since a TXV is often already incorporated for efficiency purposes. However, if it becomes clear that you need to add a standalone TXV to your system, it is important to make sure you choose the right product for your system. Read on for more information about the sizing, refrigerant types, and costs of purchasing a standalone TXV.

    The Right Model for Your System

    When buying a standalone TXV, you have to choose one that is consistent with the cooling capacity of your system. The cooling capacity is a measure of your air conditioning system’s ability to remove heat from the air in your home in a certain amount of time. The unit of measure for cooling capacity is tonnage. Typically, a TXV is designed to work for systems that fall within certain tonnage ranges. That means you can find:

    • A TXV for 1.5 to 2 ton systems
    • A TXV for 2 to 3 ton systems
    • A TXV for 3.5 to 5 ton systems

    Refrigerant Type

    You may have heard that the R22 refrigerant is being phased out in favor of the more environmentally friendly R410-A. However, many homeowners still have legacy air conditioning systems that utilize R22, so you can find a TXV that is compatible with either one of these refrigerant types. When you are choosing between products, make sure that the TXV you buy is optimized for the refrigerant that your system utilizes.

    Cost Considerations

    If you’re buying a standalone TXV for an existing system, you can expect to spend around $100, or a little less. When considering the cost of a TXV, you may also want to factor in the warranty, which can add value the product. At the same time, you should also recognize that field installation presents a possible cost -- unless you’re a home-builder or a do-it-yourselfer, in which case installation may be less of a concern.

    Currently, National Air Warehouse offers a Goodman TXV (of any size) for $91.69, with free shipping. This product also comes with a one-year warranty. Contact us today to learn more about this TXV and all of our other products!

  • Air Conditioner Coil Specifications: Making Sense of the Differences between Products

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    Last week on the blog, we discussed some of the considerations you should make when deciding whether to replace your air conditioner coil or get entirely new system. If you have decided that replacing the air conditioner coil is the right option for you, it is important to make sure that the specifications of the air conditioner coil you choose are in line with your system’s needs. Read on to learn more about what distinguishes the different air conditioner coils on the market today.

    Differences between Air Conditioner Coil Options

    All air conditioner coils play the same basic role in your cooling system: They draw in air from the surroundings, cool and condition it, and then release it into your home so that your living space remains cool and comfortable, regardless of the weather outside. For most systems, you will also be choosing between cased coils, which tend to look similar to each other. However, there are key differences between these products that you need to consider when making a purchasing decision:

     

    • Unit airflow orientation. The three options for indoor unit air flow are upflow, downflow, and horizontal. Just as you would expect, with an upflow system, cool air is discharged from the top of the unit. With a downflow system, cool air is discharged from the bottom. With a horizontal system, cool air is discharged from the side. When replacing your air conditioner coil, it is essential to make sure that the orientation of your new product matches that of your old one -- or your air conditioner will be blowing cool air in the wrong direction!
    • Width. The widths of cased evaporator coils typically range between 14 inches and 25 inches. Before choosing a replacement, you should make sure it will fit in the place where your cooling system is located.
    • Cooling capacity. You can find an air conditioner coil with a cooling capacity anywhere between 1.5 tons and 5 tons. The ideal tonnage for your home can vary based on a variety of factors, and choosing a product with a cooling capacity that is too high or too low can cause serious problems. Again, unless you have significant concerns about the past performance of your system, you probably want to match up the cooling capacity of the new system with the old one.
    • Refrigerant type. As we discussed in last week’s post, most new systems use R-104A as the refrigerant. However, there are some legacy systems that still use R22, and you can still buy an air conditioner coil that will work in one of those systems, even though R22 is being phased out.

    Beyond Cased Air Conditioner Coils

    It is important to note that not all air conditioner coils are cased. For unique systems, you can customer order an air conditioner coil configuration that meets your specific needs. With a custom order, you can make sure that your air conditioner coil replacement is optimized for your cooling system, even when you can’t find what you need among the available options.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of cased air conditioner coils, and we also do custom orders. Contact us today for more information!

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