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Monthly Archives: August 2016

  • How Natural Disasters can Adversely Affect your HVAC System

    HVAC system HVAC system

    Even though, you may be keenly concerned about your uprooted trees, windows, and roofing system, after you have experienced a natural disaster, your HVAC system could also be in jeopardy. Once the natural disaster passes and your electricity is restored, it is crucial that you become familiar with the ways that a storm or hurricane could damage or destroy your HVAC system.

    Lightning Effect

    When lightening does strike, it can adversely affect your air conditioning or cooling system since this relies on electricity in the home to function properly. When the electricity is disrupted, it could cause issues to your air conditioning system. The additional power resulting from a lightning strike could flood the circuit breaker in your home. It could damage electronics and appliances. It would be recommended that you install a surge protector prior to any natural disaster. This can absorb most of the electricity before it can damage anything in your home. A surge protector is also important in saving your HVAC equipment.

    Hail Effect

    When a tornado strikes, it comes with high winds, but also lightening. Hail, on the other hand, could follow a tornado or severe storm. It comes with heavy pelts that could subsequently damage your HVAC system. To protect the fragile parts of the condenser coil, it would be ideal to install a hail cover over the air conditioning unit. It may not deflect everything since small debris can go through the guard, lodging in the equipment. When this happens, you should contact an HVAC contractor for some assistance before even making an attempt at using your air conditioning again.

    Water Damage

    A storm or hurricane comes with lightening and heavy rains, causing water damage. In fact, when the storm hits an area, its slow movement could cause a significant amount of water to accumulate in your yard and around your HVAC system. Debris and grass could wash into the HVAC unit as water rises.

    Conclusion

    Before you experience severe weather, it would be an excellent idea to contact an HVAC contractor to inspect your outside HVAC unit. The HVAC professional would make sure that the unit is elevated to a height to keep out as much standing water as possible. You could also consider placing a mesh cover over the condensing unit. The mesh cover will be able to keep water from heavy rains from getting inside the unit. Always be mindful, though, that you should remove the mesh cover when you want to use your air conditioning unit. If you don’t, it will block the air flow.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16549050914/

  • Hysteresis Thermostat and What You Should Know

    Hysteresis Thermostat Hysteresis Thermostat

    Individuals get hung up over complicated terminologies like ‘hysteresis’ and more often than not, these terms can be simplified with an easy explanation that can be understood by anyone. In the same manner, hysteresis is considered an engineering terminology that is used to explain a simple ‘lag.’ It is specifically the way that a reaction lags a step or an action. Let’s take a closer look at this simple example below.

    An Example

    If you were to squeeze a piece of foam and then release it, you would hear a popping sound as if it popped back to its original form. However, it does not do so immediately. It goes back to its normal state in a slow motion. It lags this action until the release of your hands. Other forms of hysteresis are the same way.

    The Thermostat

    The common use of hysteresis is during the use of magnetic and electronic systems. Thermostats are a perfect example. Without using technical applications and definitions of hysteresis, let’s look at how it applies to thermostats. The hysteresis thermostat also goes through a similar motion; it lags inputs from the surroundings for the main purpose of saving energy as well as preventing a furnace or air conditioner from enduring wear and tear as it frequently turns on and off.

    Poor Insulation

    If you live in a house that is poorly insulated and the temperature outside is a scorching 104 degrees, your main concern is how long it will take for the heat to penetrate your house while the air conditioning unit is running. Believe it or not, this would not take long. With a good HVAC system, your house will cool to about 72 degrees, which is quite comfortable. When the insulation is insufficient, in about one minute, the temperature will increase to 73 degrees and your air conditioner will kick in again. This cycle continues to be repeated frequently as your air conditioning unit is overworking due to the poor insulation. It is, therefore, difficult to maintain the comfortable temperature in the home.

    Saving Energy

    You would not classify this thermostat as a hysteresis thermostat because of its lack of hysteresis in the programming. For that reason, it will constantly turn on and off. With a hysteresis thermostat, you can set your temperature to 72 degrees and be able to maintain it. Why? The temperature will go up to 74 degrees before cooling it to down to 71 degrees, allowing the HVAC system to relax. This saves on wear and tear and also fosters energy efficiency.

    Conclusion

    It is important to get your HVAC system working efficiently and therefore, you could consider using a hysteresis thermostat. It will definitely work in your best interest. Speak to a HVAC contractor to discuss your immediate needs.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rvthereyet/9098037736/

  • What the HVAC Contractor Thinks About the Trane and Lennox Brands

    Lennox and Trane Lennox and Trane

    If you are going to purchase an air conditioner unit or heating system, you want to do a comparison brand. In this case, let’s take a look at the Trane and the Lennox brand. Comparing these two will give you a general idea on how to compare others.

    Lennox

    Lennox provides materials and equipment that may equally compare to the competition. However, their parts are difficult to find. The competition, Trane, provides a wide range of logistics supply chains and Lennox does not since its supply chain is proprietary and does not give as many choices to the consumer. What does this mean for the consumer? Well, if you were to order replacement parts from Lennox, you would have to wait sometimes for weeks for it to arrive. If you were in need of repair, it is best to hire a professional HVAC contractor. If you sent your air conditioning unit, for example, for a Lennox repair, you would have to wait much longer for their technician to get the parts. Not that the Lennox brand will break down often. It is that when they do break down, it is difficult to handle the repair aspect.

    Expensive Brand

    On the other hand, the Lennox brand tends to be more costly than the Trane brand. Many people think that the more expensive brand is superior to the other. However, this is not necessarily true in all cases. Both brands can break down does as its competitors and none of these two seems to offer any advanced technology that the competition does not have. The point is you are looking for the best value for the money you spend as a consumer. Many consumers tend to think that the customer service offered by Lennox is poor, even though, their equipment has a warranty. They are hard to deal with and don’t have many distribution centers to handle customer complaints efficiently.

    Trane Brand

    Trane, on the other hand, does not have the issues that Lennox does. However, many consumers found that warranty payouts were hard to get. Trane and aluminum coils go hand in hand. In the past, most air conditioners were made with copper and there weren’t as many repair problems. Aluminum coil is used by Trane and other brands to reduce the cost, but it does not necessarily help the consumer in the long run. Air conditioners with copper coils are easier to fix.

    Conclusion

    The bottom line is that the HVAC contractor that you use for your air conditioning or heating system installation is far more important in comparison to the equipment brand you choose. However, at the end of the day, despite the fact that Lennox brand has a good reputation, there are too many issues that can go wrong with its HVAC system. It is best to conduct an extensive research, but even better, it would be more ideal to hire a good HVAC contractor. You cannot afford to hold back on on this part of the equation. One more point to make is that you should take care of your equipment and try to have a contractor provide regular maintenance.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/reuserecycle/19102456369/

  • Comparing Packaged and Split Air Conditioner System

    Air Conditioner Unit Air Conditioner Unit

    You may own an air conditioning unit in your home or business, but might not understand how it operates, especially when it comes to receiving savings on energy. What exactly is all this talk about split air conditioner, you may be wondering? Well, a split unit depends on the amount of space that is available in your house. The split air conditioner unit consumes more space; let’s say than the packaged air conditioning unit. This does not mean that you would fare better with the packaged air conditioner.

    The Structure

    The structure of the house has to be in question when choosing the right air conditioner unit. The most common choice for many homeowners is the split air conditioning system. Simply put, the two main categories of central air conditioners are packaged air conditioners and split air conditioners. Therefore, it is one choice or the other. They both work in a similar manner, using refrigerant expansion to quickly cool the coil, which subsequently cools down the air that is passing over the same coil.

    The Set Up

    There is a difference, though, between the packaged and split systems. The difference is based on the precise set up of each. Similar to a vehicle, if the engine has to be placed in the front, then it is labeled a front engine vehicle. If the engine has to be placed in the back, then it is labeled as a rear engine vehicle. Even though, they are both vehicles and works in a similar manner by having a combustible engine, they have different labels based on the way that they are structurally set up. The same is true for the packaged and split air conditioner. Let’s take a closer look.

    The Parts

    The split air conditioning unit is made up of two detached units, the evaporative coil and the condensing unit. That is how the split air conditioner unit received its name. The split unit is joined by a series of copper tubing, which transports the refrigerant from the evaporative coil to the condensing unit.  If you notice two parts on your air conditioner, then your A/C is a split system. The condensing unit is usually found on the outside while the evaporative coil is inside. On the other hand, if your air conditioning unit has one part on the roof with ductwork installed into the roof, then it is obvious that your A/C is a packaged system.

    The Size

    Both the packaged and split air conditioner system has different sizes. The split air unit is about three times in size to that of the packaged unit, considering all their combined parts. The split air unit is cheaper and easier to fix and also to maintain. They are usually much quieter when in operation than the least quiet packaged unit.

    Conclusion

    To decide which type of air conditioner system you should consider, it is best to speak to an HVAC contractor. If you want to replace your current A/C system, it is also recommended that you seek professional guidance.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aandlheatingcoolinghomeimprovements/9201677246/

  • What are the Different HVAC Systems to Consider?

    HVAC Systems HVAC Systems

    There are different HVAC systems that homeowners and business owners need to consider when choosing the system that is appropriate for their particular needs. Two such systems are the cooling only split system, cooling only packing system, heat pump, chilled water system, window air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pump.

    Split System

    What is the cooling only split system? It is a blend of outdoor condensation and indoor air handling. The unit for handling indoor air consists of a cooling coil and air supply fan as well as the expansion apparatus. The unit for condensation contains a condenser coil and compressor. These make up the split system, usually found in small commercial offices and residential homes. If you are looking for a high energy efficiency rating for your air conditioning systems, then this split system is recommended. System manufacturers have been required to increase the EER rating to offer varying degrees to accommodate various seasons. If the building requires heating, then a different method is used, but it is generally in the form of gas or electric.

    Packaged System

    The cooling only packaged system is a sole unit with a combination of the same elements in the split system. The unit has to be installed on the exterior of the building since it is packaged. The indoor air has to be ducted away from the building and enter through the utilized air distribution system. The SEER rating for the packaged system starts from 10 and goes up to 18. In a situation where heating is necessary, a different method is used, which is generally gas or electric.

    Heat Pump

    HVAC systems that offer only cooling are similar to the heat pump, but with a single exception. Heat pumps have a unique valve found in the refrigeration piping, which allows the cycle to run in the reverse. The cooling only system works by cooling the air indoors and rejecting the outdoor heat. The heat pump works by cooling the air indoors and upon reversing the valve, it can heat the air indoors.

    Window Air Conditioners

    An air conditioner unit installed in a window or customarily in the opening of a wall is usually accommodated by some homeowners and business owners. This option should be the last resort since a window unit only cools a small and confined space.

    Packaged Terminal Heat Pump

    The window air conditioner unit and the packaged terminal heat pump are quite similar in features. They are installed through a wall opening and are self-contained, requiring electrical connection. The downside is the noise that is emitted and the high operating cost.

    Conclusion

    Choose from the list of HVAC systems wisely. You can receive recommendations from an experienced HVAC contractor before you go ahead and purchase one. You will also need help from an HVAC contractor to install your system.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5923527935/

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