Central Air Conditioner
There are several facets of a central air conditioner when it comes to its impact on efficiency and more importantly, the size of the unit. The type of insulation you have in place and the height of the ceiling can also plays an integral part to the extent of how your home is cooled.
Many HVAC technicians often tend to go off on technical ranting if you were to ask the question: “Why is it so important to have the right size air conditioner unit?” They may want to explain R values and load calculations, which you can understand is the precise details that they received in training. However, most homeowners and business owner will want to hear the explanation in layman terms instead of the technicalities.
It is safe to say that the size of your air conditioner does matter. Bigger does not mean that it will be better. This has always been the common misconception by many outside of the HVAC field. It is not conventional wisdom either to think that if a 3 ton A/C unit works well, the 4 ton A/C unit could do the same. Of course, this concept was on the basis of the older central A/C units that were used in the 1980s. These air conditioners used up a lot of energy, even though, they had the capacity to cool a large arena in fifteen minutes. One thing to remember is that during those years, electricity was cheaper than it is today. In addition, there was minimal insulation at the time too.
Today, there is a heavy reliance on energy efficiency in the modern central AC units, which operate in cycles as it slowly and steadily lowers the temperature in the home. It is no longer necessary to rapidly run your air conditioner in cycles. If you purchase an air conditioning system that is overly big for the house, then it is going to operate in the same efficiency as did older systems in the 1980s. It will quickly turn on and cool the house at the same space and then it will shut off. Yes, the house will still be cool, but soon after, heat will infiltrate the house because the air conditioner was not able to finish the full cycle that it was specifically designed for. For that reason, you would have to turn it on again, which is what will increase your electric bill.
If the AC unit is too small, then it will constantly run as it tries to get caught up with where it should actually be. Again, you will have a cool house, but not to the capacity that your AC unit was meant to cool the entire home. More importantly, it will be more difficult to cool the whole house and your energy efficiency will be reduced.
With the appropriate sized air conditioner, you can guarantee that the entire cycle will run, ultimately cooling your house and improving efficiency. In the summer months, the right central air conditioner unit size is extra important. Speak to your local HVAC contractor to find out which size would best suit your home or business.
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Is your existing HVAC zoning system appropriate for your home? It is important to note that you would probably benefit from having a zoning system for your home’s heating and cooling needs. When you have such a zoning system, it allows your A/C and heating systems to activate on the basis of the areas where they are being used. Those areas have to show heating and cooling efficiency more than the rest of the home that is being heated and cooled with a central air conditioning system. With the HVAC zoning system, you will end up saving more money and increasing your home’s energy efficiency.
HVAC Zoning Systems and How They Work?
If the lights were located on a single switch in your home, what would happen? When you go to sleep at nights or you are away from home, it is obvious that you would probably switch off all lights. However, what happens when you are actually home? If you were to turn on the lights with that one switch, then all lights would be on at the same time. That is a waste of energy and more importantly, you would have to constantly replace light bulbs. Many homes are cooled and heated with that same concept. Each room, whether someone is in it or not, tends to be equally cooled or heating with a central air conditioning system. If you were to create specific zones, then this would change the dynamics.
HVAC zoning systems incorporate different thermostats in each zone. For that reason, you are able to control temperature in each room, dictating how much energy is used to heat or cool a specific room. In the end, you will save on utility and you will improve the comfort that your air conditioning unit or heating unit provides.
When the temperature is zoned, then each zone in the home has an exclusive thermostat to turn the temperature to various comfort levels. All of these thermostats then have one control panel. With this control, the environment in the home is dictated by the homeowner. If you wanted to keep a specific bedroom cooler than it was without having this affect other areas of the home, zoning would work for you. The zoning system depends on a sequence of automatic dampers located in the air ducts. These shift the heating or air conditioning systems according to your needs.
HVAC Zoning System Installation
For homes that would receive the largest energy savings with an HVAC zoning system installation, there would have to be specific architectural features. Here are some of the features of the home to bear in mind:
- Many large windows
- Higher ceilings
- Above garage apartment or room
- Attic living space
- Basement living space
- Two or more story homes
With a zoning system, you will end up paying a lower monthly utility bill. The environment in your home would be more comfortable and the wear and tear on your HVAC system would be reduced. If you want to discuss your zoning system options, it is best to speak to an HVAC contractor.
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In the past, thermostats were simpler than they are today. These thermostats came with a dial that you would manually turn on when you wanted to get the house cooler or hotter. Soon, thermostat were digital so they could be programmed with various options available for presetting to different temperature gauges at different times during the day.
So, what is the next innovative gadget when it comes to the thermostat? The smart thermostat has taken over from the manual and digital options. Yes, you still can purchase the digital and manual thermostat, but why not get with technology for a change?
The Smart Way
Some of these smart thermostat models work in such a way as to look at your patterns and behavior, using the information to program the thermostat accordingly. Many of these HVAC thermostats can be programmed remotely from the Internet, allowing the homeowner to make adjustments while not at home.
Making the Decision
The question now is whether you should purchase a smart technologically inclined thermostat for $250 or $350. For help in deciding if you should or not, think about the scenarios below.
- Do I have technological skills to throw out the programmable or manual thermostat for a smart thermostat? Let’s say you are at Starbucks and able to check your phone to see if the home furnace was turned off or not. Does this seem surreal or just too much and you prefer to stare at that pastry case instead? Or what if the smart nest thermostat sends you an email report about how much energy you are actually using and recommends improvements. Would you be interested in receiving such details or are you the kind of person who would just press the delete button? Some homeowners love apps and gadgets as well as the concept of tweaking their energy system for the maximum savings, but there are some who don’t really care.
- Smart thermostats are more than just energy efficient. They are amazingly convenient. If you are the kind of person who is always forgetting to adjust your thermostat upon leaving your house, before going on vacation or when going to bed at night, a smart thermostat would be more helpful. You would end up saving more money and when you are at home, this high technology gadget will allow you to feel comfortable in the temperature that it decides on.
The cost of the smart thermostat will pay for itself in the long run. It will check your energy usage and estimate your savings, after which you can calculate the length of time that this will pay for the smart thermostat.
There are various brands of smart thermostat to choose from. Some come with added features such as voice control and others only have Internet capabilities. An HVAC contractor can help you to make the choice that is right for you and also help with the installation process as well as teach you how to use it. So, call a HVAC technician or contractor to discuss your home temperature needs.
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What is the major challenge that homeowners face during the cold winter months? It is staying as warm as possible, right? Every person handles the coldness of the winter weather in a different way. The main objective, though, is to remain warm. When you go outdoors, you likely will have to wear the right clothing and shoes for the cold weather to protect yourself from ice, snow, wind, rain and the freezing temperatures.
With that being said, what do you do for the indoors when it is cold? Many homeowners don’t make the necessary preparation for the wintry weather. Yes, we are now going through the summer months, but that does not mean you shouldn’t prepare for the fall and the winter. In fact, there are many homeowners that are in the summer time frame and winter is the last thing on their minds as it relates to preparation. What if you live in a two story home? How do you prepare the upstairs area for the winter or even the summer?
There are several reasons why you should maintain warmth in the upstairs area in a home with two stories. It can be quite a challenge, but here are a few proven suggestions below that you can consider.
- Seal the home air tight
- Make sure there is the right amount of insulation in the home
- Adjust your thermostat
- On the warmer side of the house, open up the blinds
- Open up the vents and make sure there is no blockage
The Right Insulation
When it comes to insulation, you should be aware how important it is in keeping your house warm. It is even more important for two story homes. While downstairs may be warm, you still want to make sure that the upstairs is as well. The level and the kind of insulation you use must be enough for the area where you live. For example, if you live in a warm climate such as Florida, you may want to have an HVAC technician check to see what kind of insulation you need.
Air Tight Seal
When winter arrives, there are many homes that have cold air escaping in different areas of the home. This cold air will typically come in through doors and windows that are not properly sealed. You will find out sooner enough how detrimental this is to your energy saving efforts.
One of the main reasons that the upstairs of a two story home is so difficult to maintain its warmth is failure of homeowners to adjust the thermostat. However, make sure that the thermostat is adjusted once individuals go upstairs and not before. Lower the temperature when no one is upstairs.
If you need heating assistance before the winter months come around, solicit help from a HVAC contractor that specializes in heating and air conditioning, but also expertise in two story homes. If you want to be comfortable during the next winter months, make sure you get this done right now, regardless if it is summer or even fall.
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