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Monthly Archives: May 2017

  • Choosing a Home Air Filtration System

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    This summer, you’ll be relying on your home air conditioner to keep your house cool. Memorial Day is only a week away, which means that for the next few months, your air conditioner will probably be running most of the time. Before the dog days of summer hit, it is critical to make sure your air conditioner is working properly, but you also need to think about indoor air quality. Even a well-functioning air conditioner can’t prevent the circulation of environmental pollutants without an air filtration system.

    In recent years, better home construction and insulation methods have made buildings air-tight and easier to cool, which has improved energy efficiency. At the same time, however, these improvements make it harder for pollutants to escape from your home and be replaced by fresh air. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now ranks indoor air pollutants among the top five environmental health risks. Your family may be exposed to a wide range of damaging particles in the air, including contaminants that can trigger allergies and cause breathing problems. Dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and even mold spores are all commonly found in the air in people’s homes.

    Home Air Filtration System Options

    One way to improve the air quality in your home is to install a home air filtration system. When choosing between filters, one of the most important factors to consider is the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating, which ranks home air filtration systems on a scale of 1 to 20, based on the following three categories:

    • The filter’s ability to remove particles from the air.
    • The filter’s ability to resist air flow.
    • The expected operating lifetime of the filtration system.

    Some of the most common types of systems you’ll find on the market today include pleated media air filters and washable/reusable air filters. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type, so you must consider your individual situation when choosing between them.

    The main benefit of pleated media air filters is that they are particularly efficient for catching both small and large particles in the air, compared to some of the other types of filters that are available. They also operate relatively quietly, and they have relatively low airflow resistance. The MERV rating for pleated media air filters typically ranges between 5 and 13.

    The best thing about washable/reusable air filters is their durability. They are designed to last a long time, and the washable filters are easy to clean and reuse. It is important to note that the MERV rating can vary widely. For traditional models, the rating is usually between 2 and 8, but for high efficiency models, it can be as high as 14 or even 16, depending on the airflow.
    National Air Warehouse offers both pleated media air filters and washable/reusable air filters. With hot temperatures right around the corner, now is the time to add one to your home air conditioning system in order to ensure that you stay cool and healthy all summer long! If you need more help determining which air filtration system is right for your home, contact us today!

  • Choosing a New Air Conditioner Condenser

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    Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about getting your air conditioning system up and running for summer. That means you need to make sure that all components of your AC system are in top shape. If they’re not, you may need to repair or replace individual parts or the whole system. For owners of split systems, it is not uncommon to find that the condenser -- also known as the outside system or the outdoor unit -- has been damaged by inclement winter or spring weather. If you need to replace your condenser to get ready for summer, there are a few important things to know.

    Condenser Basics

    The condenser is an essential part of a split system air conditioner, which is why it is necessary to have it replaced if it is not working. After the refrigerant is heated in the compressor, it is transferred to the condenser, where it passes through a series of coils. As it passes through these coils, the heat from the refrigerant escapes through the fins of the condenser, and by the time it reaches the end of the coils, it is much cooler. Ultimately, the refrigerant leaves the condenser as a mist, which is turned into a gas and cooled in the evaporator coil before being blown out as cool air by the fan.

    Today, most condensers come pre-charged with a refrigerant. R-410A is the newest type of refrigerant and the one to look for when you are buying a condenser. In contrast to alkyl halide refrigerants that contain bromine or chlorine, like R-22, R-410A does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. It also allows for higher seasonal energy efficiency (SEER) ratings than R-22.

    Understanding SEER Ratings

    When choosing between condensers, you are likely to encounter models that have different SEER ratings. Most commonly, you can find 14 SEER and 16 SEER models, but 18 SEER condensers are also available. The SEER rating indicates the energy efficiency of the condenser model, with a higher number indicating a higher level of efficiency. Although it may cost more upfront, choosing a system with a higher SEER rating can save you money in the long-run and reduce the degree to which the refrigerant contributes to climate change.

    Understanding Cooling Capacities

    If you are replacing your condenser, it is essential that you choose a model with a cooling capacity (tonnage) that is consistent with your indoor system. If you are unsure about what size to buy for your split system, it can be helpful to contact your retailer.

    National Air Warehouse provides a wide selection of condensers at multiple sizes, and we can help you figure out which size you need. All of our condensers come pre-charged with R-410A, and we ship to your home or office for free. Contact us today to replace your condenser before summer heats up!

  • Planning for Summer: Do You Need to Replace Your Evaporator Coil?

     

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    As temperatures heat up and spring turns to summer, you have to make sure that your air conditioner is ready for the hottest months of the year. Last week, we went through the basic steps you should take at the beginning of the season to figure out whether you need to replace your air conditioner. Another issue to consider when planning for summer is whether or not you need a new evaporator coil. There are a few reasons why you might want to replace this essential part of your unit, including malfunction and inefficiency.

    Malfunctioning Evaporator Coil

    When going through the steps to check whether your air conditioner is ready for summer, you may find that your evaporator coil isn’t working. Here are some of the scenarios that suggest malfunction:

    • When you flip the switch, the air conditioner will not turn on.
    • You feel warm air coming through the vents instead of cool air.
    • You hear unusual noises, like hissing and banging, when your air conditioner is running.
    • There are air leaks around the indoor unit.
    • The air conditioner turns itself on and off randomly.

    If you find yourself in any of these situations, it may be unsafe to run the unit, and you should turn it off until the problem has been diagnosed. A new evaporator coil may be able to resolve the issue.

    Inefficient Evaporator Coil

    Older models of evaporator coils can prevent an air conditioning unit from running with maximum energy efficiency, so investing in a replacement could pay off in energy savings in the long run. Plus, most evaporator coils are only built to last for seven to ten years, so if you’ve been using your evaporator coil for almost a decade, there is a much greater risk that your evaporator coil will malfunction at the peak of summer, when it will be much worse to have no air conditioning while you get a replacement installed. If you’re looking to improve energy efficiency anyway, spring is the ideal time to replace the evaporator coil.

    When looking for a more efficient evaporator coil, you can choose between models with different Seasonal Energy Efficiency (SEER) ratings. The most common options are SEER 14 and SEER 16 rated products. While SEER 16 rated evaporator coils provide slightly higher cooling efficiency, both can provide greater cooling efficiency than legacy models. However, when choosing a new evaporator coil, it is critical to make sure that it is the same size as your original model, or your  cooling efficiency could take a hit regardless of the SEER rating.
    If you need to replace your evaporator coil before the summer starts, National Air Warehouse offers a wide selection of models at affordable prices, entirely online. Explore our offerings to find solutions for all of your HVAC needs.

  • Spring Check-In: Is It Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

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    It’s finally May, which means that summer is just around the corner. That means you can start looking forward to all the things you love about summer -- backyard barbecues, garden-fresh vegetables, beach days, baseball games on TV, ice cream... But it also means that temperatures are going to start creeping up, and you need to make sure that your air conditioning system is ready for the warm weather. Spring is the best time to determine whether your air conditioner will make it through another long, hot summer, or if it is time to replace it.

    Checking Your Air Conditioner

    It is critical to check your air conditioner in the spring to make sure it is working. That way, if you need to get a replacement, you will have ample time to look into the options and find one that works for your building and your budget. When getting your air conditioner ready for its first test after winter, there are a few things to check for before turning it on. Some of these can serve as red flags, indicating that it may be time to find a replacement.

    • Outdoor unit panels. Sometimes, in the winter, the panels covering the electrical connections in the outdoor unit get misaligned or blown away by heavy winds. Severe damage or missing panels could be a sign that it’s time for a replacement. It is not safe to start the system until all panels are in place.
    • Suction line insulation. The insulation of the suction line, which is the large pipe on the outdoor unit, may also be have been damaged, by ice or small animals. It’s usually not very hard to find replacement insulation before testing the unit, but if the suction line itself is damaged, you will likely need to replace your system.
    • Debris in the outdoor coil and surrounding area. For the air conditioner to run efficiently, it is critical to remove debris from the outdoor coil, and also to clear the area around it of leaves and mulch that may have accumulated during the winter months.
    • Dust in the supply vents and return air grills. Inside the building, it is common for dust to accumulate in the supply vents and return air grills. You can usually clear away the dust with a vacuum cleaner.

    After all that is done, and it looks like everything is in place, it’s time to turn the air conditioner on. Within a few minutes, cool air should start to come out of the registers. If the air is warm, or if there is no air at all, you should turn off the unit immediately and start looking for causes of malfunction.

    If it turns out that your air conditioner isn’t ready to handle the summer season, you’re in great shape, because you still have time to replace it before the temperatures get too high. Learn more about some of the best-priced replacement options offered by Air National Warehouse.

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