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Monthly Archives: February 2018

  • 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!

  • Deciding What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Coil Gives Out: Why the Age of Your Cooling System Matters

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    A malfunctioning air conditioner coil is always bad news. The air conditioner coil plays an essential role in the cooling system -- drawing in air from the outside, cooling it, and then releasing it back into the home -- so you have only two choices when your air conditioner coil gives out: replace the air conditioner coil, or replace the whole system.

    If you’ve relied on your system for decades, you might be hesitant to replace it with something new. After all, there are high-quality evaporator coils on the market today that can boost performance of some of HVAC systems that were installed years ago. If you trust that your system can keep the climate of your home cool and comfortable, why make a change? One key reason: the upcoming phaseout of R22.

    Considering the Upcoming Phaseout of R22 Refrigerant

    Many older cooling systems rely on R22, a refrigerant that is known to contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. Right now, you can still buy a replacement air conditioner coil that works for a cooling system that uses R22, but it is important to note that R22 is being phased out in favor of R-410A, a refrigerant that is more environmentally friendly. The EPA started the phaseout program in 2010, and it is nearing the end. Here are a few key facts about the phaseout that you should know when deciding what to do about a broken air conditioner coil in an aging system:

    • R22 is no longer being manufactured in North America, so supplies are dwindling, and prices are going up.
    • The phaseout is set to end in 2020, at which point you will no longer be able to access R22, so you will need to replace your cooling system.

    Replacing your air conditioner coil is less expensive than purchasing and installing a whole new system, so you may want to replace the coil and continue using R22 as a refrigerant for the two more years that it is possible. On the other hand, you might feel like it is worth investing in a completely new air conditioning system now, since you’re going to have to replace yours within the next two years anyway. Plus, when you switch from R22 to R-410A, you won’t have to worry about rising refrigerant costs, and you’ll know that you’re making an environmentally friendly choice.
    Whichever route you choose, National Air Warehouse has the products you need. We offer replacement air conditioner coils for older systems that use R22 refrigerant and newer systems that use R-410A. We also provide air conditioning systems that can keep your home or business at a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Contact us today for more information!

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