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  • 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!

  • The Importance of High Quality Copper Refrigerant Tubing Insulation

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    Last week on the blog, we talked about how helpful it can be to address issues with your air conditioning system in the fall, when issues are still on your mind after a long summer. When it comes to the functioning of your air conditioning system, the copper refrigerant lines that run between the condenser and the evaporator coil play an essential role. The larger of the two lines -- known as the suction line -- carries a cool gas, so it must be insulated with tubing. Read on to learn how the quality of this insulation can affect your HVAC system.

    Protecting Copper Refrigerant Lines with Insulation

    There are a few key problems that are associated with refrigerant line insulation, so it is essential to choose refrigerant tubing insulation that addresses these concerns. If you’re looking for tubing insulation for copper refrigerant lines, make sure it offers adequate protection against the following threats:

     

    • Condensation. Whether your copper lines are located indoors or outdoors, the copper line will likely be exposed to air that is warmer than the refrigerant that it carries. When warm air hits the cool copper line, it can lead to condensation. If your insulation does not provide an adequate barrier between the air and the copper line, it can create a moist, humid atmosphere within the insulation tube that is an excellent breeding ground for mold. Therefore, you should look for insulation with a closed-cell structure that prevents warm outside air from reaching the copper line.
    • Energy loss. Keeping the refrigerant in the suction line at a cool temperature is essential for maintaining the efficiency of the air conditioning system. The insulation basically acts like a thermos that keeps the refrigerant cool. If the refrigerant is exposed to warm outside air, more energy will be needed to keep it at the appropriate temperature. Again, choosing tubing insulation with a closed-cell structure can effectively guard against this problem and help keep your energy bills low.  
    • Ultraviolet radiation. If your copper line is located outdoors, it is essential to choose insulation that provides adequate protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Even if the insulation is well-structured to prevent thermal energy losses and protect against condensation, long-term UV radiation can degrade the surface of the insulation and put your copper lines at risk. In order to avoid this hazard, you should look for tubing insulation that has been treated with a finish that is designed specifically to protect against surface degradation from UV exposure.

     

     

    If you’re looking for high-quality copper refrigerant tubing insulation, National Air Warehouse has what you need. We offer six-foot length tubing with both 7/8” and 3/4” inside diameters. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings!

  • Start Capacitors vs Run Capacitors: What’s the Difference?

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    One of the most common reasons why an air conditioner stops working is a failed capacitor. In an air conditioning system, the capacitor is the energy storage device that holds the electrical charge needed to power the fan motor. Therefore, the failure of the capacitor means that your air conditioning system will stop blowing cold air, and a replacement is required.

    The Two Types of Capacitors

    There are two types of capacitors: run capacitors and start capacitors. Run capacitors are more common. They store the energy that is needed to keep the fan motor going so that the air conditioner continues to cool down your house. In contrast, the start capacitor specifically provides the energy needed to start up your air conditioner. As you might expect, it takes more torque to start the motor than to keep it running, so the capacitance -- that is, the energy storage capacity  -- of a start capacitor must be higher than that of a run capacitor. To understand why, think about the fan motor like a push-powered merry-go-round on a playground -- it can take considerable effort to get it started, but once it gets going, you don’t need to push as much to keep it running. Therefore, the capacitance rating for most run capacitors is between 5 and 80 Microfarads (MFD), while it typically ranges from 430 MFD to 516 MFD for start capacitors.

    Deciding What to Do When Your Capacitor Gives Out

    When the capacitor in your AC system gives out, you are faced with a decision: Should you replace the capacitor or replace the entire system? That may depend on whether the problem is with the start capacitor or the run capacitor. If the problem is with the run capacitor, replacing the capacitor often makes more sense. Depending on the MFD, the price of a run capacitor can range between less than 10 and 100 dollars, so it’s a safe investment. In most cases, replacing your run capacitor can get your system back up and running in no time!

    However, if the problem is with the start capacitor, you may want to consider replacing the system altogether. Start capacitors are larger and more expensive, and they are a lot harder to find, since most AC systems today do not have a separate start capacitor. If your system is getting old and its parts are giving out, it may be time to consider an upgrade.

     
    Whether you are looking for a replacement run capacitor, a new AC system, or any other HVAC equipment, National Air Warehouse can help you find what you need. Contact us today to learn more about all of our products!

  • Heat Pumps vs. Standard Air Conditioners: Comparing the Prices of Split Systems

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    If you are looking to upgrade the air conditioning system in your home or office, one of the decisions that you might have to face is whether to buy a standard air conditioning system or a heat pump system. While a standard split system air conditioner provides familiarity and reliable performance, heat pump split systems also have a wide range of benefits, including a higher degree of energy efficiency. As you weigh the options, one of the things that might be on your mind is price. Read on to look at side-by-side comparisons of air conditioner split systems and heat pump split systems from one of the top retailers in the industry.

    Current Prices for Rheem Split Systems

    Rheem is one of the top HVAC retailers in the industry, providing both electric split system air conditioners and heat pump split systems. Take a look at the prices for some of their comparable products:

     

    1.5 Ton / 14 SEER / R410A / Air Conditioner Split System: $1,637.05

    1.5 Ton / 14 SEER / R410A /Heat Pump Split System: $1,945.44

     

    2 Ton / 15.5 SEER / R410A / Air Conditioner Split System: $1,713.41

    2 Ton / 15.5 SEER / R410A / Heat Pump Split System: $2,079.56

     

    3 Ton / 15 SEER / R410A / Air Conditioner Split System: $1,978.41

    3 Ton / 15 SEER / R410A / Heat Pump Split System: $2,041.74

     

    4 Ton / 15 SEER / R410A / Air Conditioner Split System: $2,505.42

    4 Ton / 15 SEER / R410A / Heat Pump Split System: $2,649.36

     

    Analyzing the Prices of Rheem Split Systems

    As you can tell, there are multiple factors that affect the price of Rheem split systems. One of the most noticeable takeaways from this side-by-side comparison is that heat pump split systems are slightly more expensive than air conditioner split systems. However, it is important to note that a heat pump split system might save you more in the long run by cutting down on your energy bill.

    Other factors that can affect price include cooling capacity and SEER rating. Also, if you haven’t bought a new air conditioning system in a long time, you should take note that all new split systems use the R410A refrigerant, which is much more environmentally friendly than the refrigerants that were previously used -- another great reason to upgrade your system!

    National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of air conditioner split systems and heat pump split systems, including many manufactured by Rheem. Contact us today to find the product that is right for you!

  • The Rise of R410a Refrigerant

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    If it’s been a long time since you last replaced your air conditioner and you’re on the market for a new one, you might realize that new air conditioners with R22 refrigerant are no longer available. Instead, all new air conditioners use R410a refrigerant. The good news for buyers is that R410a refrigerant provides a lot of benefits that R22 did not. When you purchase a new air conditioner with R410a refrigerant, you can expect cost savings in the future, and you can feel good about making a more environmentally friendly choice for your air conditioning system. Read on to learn more about what the rise of the R410a refrigerant can mean for you.

    Comparing R410a Refrigerant to R22 Refrigerant

    R410a refrigerant is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC). Unlike R22 refrigerant, which a hydrofluorocarbon (HCFC), R410a refrigerant does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. Even better, R410a refrigerant absorbs and releases heat more efficiently than R22 refrigerant. There are several key benefits that result from the higher energy efficiency of R410a refrigerant. Specifically, air conditioners that use R410a refrigerant:

    • Save homeowners money in the long run.
    • Contribute less to energy-use-related environmental problems like climate change.
    • Are less likely to overheat, which can reduce the risk of compressor burnout and the long-term deterioration of the air conditioning system.

    Legal Regulations Surrounding R410a and R22 Refrigerants

    Starting in 2010, all newly manufactured air conditioning systems sold in the United States were required to use R410a refrigerant rather than R22 refrigerant. Beginning in 2015, R410a refrigerant officially became the new standard for residential air conditioning systems in the United States.

    However, it is important to note that you can still order replacement parts for air conditioning systems that use R22 refrigerant. Some of the products on the market that are compatible with older air conditioning systems that use R22 refrigerant include:

    • Vertical evaporator coils
    • Horizontal evaporator coils
    • Front return upflow air handlers

    Of course, since it’s been so long since R22 refrigerant was used in AC systems, you may want to consider replacing your old air conditioning system altogether and investing in a new one. Whether you decide to opt for a replacement part or make the switch to a newly manufactured air conditioning system that offers the environmental and economic advantages of R410a refrigerant, you can find what you need at National Air Warehouse. Contact us today to learn more about the products we offer!

  • Choosing an Air Conditioner with the Right Heating Capacity for Your Home Building Project

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    As a home builder, choosing the right air conditioner can make or break the success of your project. If you make the right choice, you can ensure an optimal climate for the home without busting the homeowner’s wallet. With the wrong air conditioner, the new house might remain uncomfortably warm, even when the AC system is running at full capacity, and and it can significantly increase the homeowner’s energy bills.

    Some of the aspects of air conditioning systems that home builders have to consider include heating capacity, cooling capacity, cooling efficiency, heating efficiency, air flow orientation, price, and brand. Read on to learn more about choosing a system with the right heating capacity for your project.

    Understanding Heating Capacity Measurements

    For HVAC equipment, heating capacity is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Formally, one BTU is defined as the amount of energy that is required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In the context of an air conditioner, the heating capacity is the amount of energy that it takes to remove a certain amount of heat from the surrounding air. For air conditioners than are intended for entire homes and buildings (rather than single rooms), you will typically see BTUs ranging from about 40,000 to over 115,000.

    Factors Affecting Air Conditioner Heating Capacity Needs

    At the most basic level, the number of BTUs you need the air conditioner to have depends on the size of the home you are building. Put simply, a larger home needs an air conditioner with a higher heating capacity. However, there are also other factors that can affect the needs of the home. These include:

    • Window type, size, and location. Windows affect the amount of sun the home gets in the summer, which in turn impacts the amount of heat that must be removed from the air by the AC system.
    • Insulation type and quality. If the home has excellent insulation, you may be able to get away with an air conditioner with a lower heating capacity.
    • Height of the ceilings. The height of the ceilings affects the overall amount of heat that must be removed from each individual room, and it also impacts how much heat is retained within each room.
    • Location of the home. If the home is located in a cool climate, the necessary heating capacity for the AC system is lower than it would be for a house of the same size in a warmer climate.

    At National Air Warehouse, homebuilders can find air conditioning systems that work for any project. Contact us today for more information!

  • Does Your Air Conditioning System Need a New Condenser Fan Motor?

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    During the dog days of summer, there is nothing worse than an air conditioning system malfunction in your home or business -- especially if you are unable to determine the cause. Immediately jumping to the conclusion that you need to replace your whole air conditioning unit can be a costly mistake, but it can also be very expensive to hire an expert to identify an easily diagnosable problem. When your air conditioner stops working, one of the simplest things to check for is a malfunctioning condenser fan motor.

    The Importance of the Condenser Fan Motor

    In an air conditioning system, heat from the surrounding air is absorbed by a refrigerant, creating cool air that can be circulated throughout your home or business. The condenser is the part of the system that releases the heat that has been absorbed by the refrigerant during the cooling process, which gets the system ready for the next cooling cycle. As the refrigerant releases the heat, the condenser fan blows the heat past the condenser coil so that the heat can be released. The condenser fan motor is the driver of the condenser fan, so it is essential for the proper functioning of your air conditioning system.

    Diagnosing Problems with Your Condenser Fan Motor

    A telltale sign that your condenser fan motor might not be working is a situation in which your air conditioning seems to work for awhile, but then stops working. When you initially turn on the air conditioning unit, it will blow cold air into your home or office, but a short time later, the unit will just start blowing out room temperature air.

    To further investigate the situation, you can turn the system on and monitor the condenser fan. If the condenser fan does not start spinning within 20 minutes, it is likely that there is a problem with the condenser fan motor. There is a chance that the problem is mechanical -- that is, a stuck fan -- so you can try to get it spinning again by nudging it with a small stick. However, if this does not work, you probably need to replace your condenser fan motor.

    Replacing Your Condenser Fan Motor

    Luckily, most condenser fan motors are not extremely expensive. You can buy a high quality condenser fan motor for $175 to $200, which is much less than purchasing an entirely new air conditioning unit. National Air Warehouse offers top-notch condenser fan motors at competitive prices. Contact us today to find a motor that works for your system!

  • 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!

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