Toll-Free Customer Support 24/7

Search Site
BBB A Rating Seal

A/C Unit

  • Purchase a Higher SEER to Reduce Cooling Costs

    SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a specification that homeowners should take into account when purchasing a new air conditioner. This number, which ranges from 10 to 30 in newer units, indicates the amount of energy required to meet a specific cooling output. Higher numbers indicate greater efficiency. Homeowners with older air conditioning units may have a SEER of 6 or less, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Upgrading to a higher efficiency unit will save many homeowners money in the long term.

    What level of SEER efficiency is cost-effective for a homeowner though? Our 2.0 ton air conditioners have 14, 15 or 16 SEER ratings available. A customer that wants to purchase a Rheem air conditioner may spend up to $600 more for a SEER 16 as opposed to a SEER 14. Is it worth the extra cost? That depends on the temperature fluctuations in each homeowner's area. Let's look at some examples using the SEER Savings Calculator.

    Our first example customer lives in Phoenix, AZ. His current air conditioner has a SEER rating of 10 and he wants to upgrade. With an upgrade to a SEER 14, he will save 29% of the energy cost of his original air conditioner. However, by upgrading to a SEER 16, the same homeowner can save 38% of the energy cost of his original air conditioner. With the typical energy rates in Phoenix, Arizona, after five years, the SEER 14 will save $932 and the SEER 16 will save $1224. At this point, it doesn't seem like upgrading to the SEER 16 is worth the extra $600. However, air conditioning units are intended to last for 10 to 15 years. After 10 years, the increased cost of the SEER 16 will be offset by the savings in efficiency.

    It makes sense to upgrade to a high efficiency SEER in hot areas that require regular use of the air conditioner. No matter if the homeowner decides between the SEER 14 or the SEER 16, the reduced energy cost will offset the cost of the new air conditioning unit in about 10 years. That's also assuming that the current air conditioning unit is decent with a SEER of 10. Many people have much less efficient units, which means that upgrading saves even more money.

    Homeowners that live in cooler regions may not be as impacted by the SEER ratings. For example, in Seattle WA, there is little need for cooling except for one week a month. Upgrading from a SEER of 10 to a SEER of 14 will still save 29% of the cost, but the cost is much less. Many Seattlites spend only $65/year on cooling. Upgrading will not have such a large impact on the energy cost because the air conditioner is not used that often.

    To determine the right SEER for their needs, homeowners should evaluate how often they cool their homes. The more cooling that is required, the more it makes sense to upgrade to a high efficiency air conditioner.

  • Use a Heat Pump for Air Conditioning and Heating

    One way to think of a heat pump is as a reversible air conditioner, which means that one device can provide both heating and cooling. Heat pumps capture heat from the outdoors and compress it. The compressed heated air is then pumped around the home or business. The heat pump doesn't actually generate heat. The principle by which heat pumps work is the same as air conditioners. However, air conditioners cycle the opposite way, expelling heat to the outdoors, instead of drawing it in. While heat pumps are typically reversible and can function as air conditioners, not all air conditioners can be reversed to function as heat pumps.

    Although heat pumps have the advantage of both cooling and heating, their functionality is limited to a moderate climate. An example of an appropriate climate for a heat pump only system would be Washington, DC. As an air conditioner, a heat pump can provide cooling air during hot temperatures. When temperatures drop below freezing though, it becomes harder for a heat pump to work as a heater. Since it functions by drawing heat from the air, it struggles to draw heat from freezing air. One solution is to add electric resistance coils to the heat pump. These coils function as a furnace and provide heat when it's too cold to draw warmth from outdoor air.

    Above freezing temperatures, heat pumps can be up to 40% more efficient than gas furnaces. Heating air requires a great deal of energy. Gas furnaces physically heat the air with a flame. However, heat pumps transition the warmth outdoors into the indoors (though compressing the air can be energy intensive). Heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces until additional electrical resistance coils need to be used to heat the air, which usually occurs around freezing temperature. At this point, the electrical or gas resistance coils are not as efficient as a gas furnace.

    If a heat pump promises to meet your heating and cooling needs, there are a few options to consider. Heat pumps come in a variety of sizes, measured in tonnage. To properly size a heat pump, home and business owners should complete a heat load calculation. This calculation takes insulation, square footage and climate factors into account and then recommends a tonnage. Heat pumps are usually electric, but some resistance coils can be gas-powered, depending on your preferences. SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency rating, is another way to determine the best heat pump for a home or business. Higher ratings translate to a more efficient heat pump. With these options in mind, it's easy to select the appropriate heat pump for your home or business.

  • HVAC Sizing: Why do a load calculation?

    A whole new vocabulary greets those who want to purchase a new HVAC system. Instead of seeing the normal housing “square feet” metric, people are likely to see measurements in “tons.” These are not the same tons that semi-trucks are hauling on the freeway. It's a measurement of the cooling rate, and it's about equal to 12,000 Btu/hr. To properly size an HVAC system, the buyer needs to determine how the home or office building loses and maintains heat.

    Since HVAC may seem like a complicated new world, new HVAC buyers might be tempted to use a 'rule of thumb' to determine the size of their HVAC system. These “rules” can be as simple as holding up a cut-out to the home. The hole that the house fits within is labeled with a ton amount. Other people will recommend a certain number of tons per square foot. This method is slightly better because it takes into account the weather conditions for the local area. However, there are disadvantages to using a rule of thumb.

    Using a 'rule of thumb' is like going to the store and picking out a shirt in your size without trying it on. If you are usually a medium, it's a good bet that a medium shirt will fit you. But, in some stores, a medium can be too tight to fit around your chest or so loose that the shirtsleeves go down to your elbows. Without accounting for the unique contours of your body by trying it on, it's possible that you can buy the wrong size. An improperly sized HVAC system is like an ill-fitting shirt; it does the job, but it doesn't do it as well as it could. For example, an over-sized HVAC system doesn't de-humidify the air as efficiently during the summer.

    The secret to purchasing the right size of HVAC system is to take more factors into account. Like the unique contours of your body, your home or business has unique characteristics. For a building, the unique characteristics are the materials used for the construction. Are the walls made of brick or siding? What type of insulation was used? How many vents are in the floor? The doors are made of what type of material? These characteristics (and others, such as your location) are used in a Manual J load calculation, an industry standard method to determine the HVAC size for a home or office building.

    With the internet, it is possible to do a Manual J load calculation yourself. There are many sites dedicated to the task. However, they do assume that you have the basic information about the materials used in the construction of the building. Many homeowners don't know what type of siding or insulation they have (or where to find it). If you don't know what ceiling type you have in your home, it's probably worth asking a professional to complete a calculation (according to Manual J or another method). A trained technician can quickly assess the location.

    An HVAC is a long-term investment, often heating and cooling a location for decades. Isn't it worth it to get the right size for maximum efficiency?

  • Switching Over to the Warm Months

    With such extreme changes in temperature, your heating and cooling units benefit from annual service checks. Plus, you are more likely to catch any minor issues before they turn into bigger ones. Add a checkup to your spring cleaning list to make sure your house is ready to handle the heat.

    A spring tune-up will provide some very important monetary benefits, especially if your system has been neglected for some time. As your technician runs a thorough check of your equipment, he will adjust loose parts, lubricate moving components, and clean dirty areas. Potential problems can be diagnosed so that preventive repairs can be completed before summer. Following are some specific ways in which your budget can benefit:

    Dirty inside and outside coils can represent up to 30 percent of your cooling expenses. A thorough cleaning makes it easier for air to flow inside, for proper cooling levels to be reached, and for your compressor to operate without stress.
    Low refrigerant can add 20 percent or more to the energy usage needed for cooling your home. A recharge is important to protect your compressor, but fixing any leaks is equally important to avoid a continued problem with refrigerant levels.
    Leaky ducts can add another 20 percent to the total cost to cool your home. Energy loss is already an issue in this portion of your system, and duct sealing is a priority to keep those costs lower.

    Another major issue addressed through spring HVAC maintenance is the condition of your indoor air. Dirty ducts and coils can aggravate your allergies or other respiratory issues. If you are sensitive to mold, you need to recognize that an unmaintained air handler is a huge problem, providing a place for mold and bacteria to increase with ease. Annual cleaning improves the condition of this area, and your technician can also discuss the benefits of a UV lamp for killing the materials in this space.

    Duct cleaning may not need to occur annually, but a duct inspection is helpful for establishing information about the condition of the area. Your ducts can harbor many kinds of pests, and droppings and dander can also trigger your allergies as your cooling system is operated.

    Making sure you get ready for spring and summer is must do after the winter months have come to an end. Hopefully this information will be helpful when getting your HVAC system ready.

  • Misconceptions About Your HVAC System

    People are often uneducated about their HVAC system. Many do not have the knowledge of the proper upkeep or things you need to do to maintain your system. Everyone wants to save energy and spend as little as possible and heating and air conditioning and having some know how may be all you need to do so. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about your HVAC system.

     

    You may hear the not using your system will keep it working longer or improve the HVAC system’s lifespan. This is actually incorrect. If you do not use your system dust and dirt may begin to collect. This can cause problems in your system so regular use is actually recommended.

     

    Turning on a fan is a great way to lower your energy bills if you find that you’re turning on the AC too often, but fans don’t cool down rooms in the same way that air conditioners do. AC units work by cooling down the air in the room, but fans produce cooling effects because the increased air circulation allows the sweat on your skin to evaporate faster, thus cooling down your body faster and making the room a little more comfortable. If you aren’t in the room when a fan is turned on, it’s really just a waste of energy.

     

    Humidity will not be effected if you raise the temperature. It cannot be controlled using the HVAC however lowering the temperature may lower the humidity.

     

    One of the most common myths about air conditioning is that you should raise the temperature on your thermostat way up when you leave for work or vacation. HVAC systems are designed to maintain constant temperature. The amount of energy used by your HVAC system to recover the temperature is more than if it remains constant. When leaving for vacation, raise the thermostat about 5 degrees, but any more than that can actually increase your energy consumption and costs.

     

    If the thermostat is located in near a vent or in direct sunlight it may not properly regulate your air conditioning system. This could cause your unit to start and stop frequently, which will lead to premature wear and tear.

     

    Now that you know a little bit more about your system you can take the proper steps necessary to keeping your home at the proper temperature. Proper temperature control will you keep you and your family happy all while saving you money.

  • Why is it so Important to have the Right Size Air Conditioner Unit?

    Central Air Conditioner 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.

    Technical Ranting

    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.

    Size Matters

    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.

    Energy Efficiency

    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.

    Smaller A/C

    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.

    Conclusion

    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.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/62889725@N08/16216429719/

  • The Main Reason for Condensation in an Air Conditioner Unit

    Air Conditioner Air Conditioner

    Air conditioner units are considered closed cycle system because of the condensation of coolant that transforms to liquid, forcing coolant to expand and then vaporize, after which it uses heat from its transfer coils to pump into the cooling tower. Subsequently, it re-condenses and passes through the same closed cycle system again.

    The Vaporization

    When vaporization of the coolant takes place, it does one of two things:

    1. Absorbs the necessary heat for vaporization
    2. Changes its pressure to the energy that is needed

    As the air begins to cool, humidity lessens, but whatever humidity comes from the air will condense on the coils, considerably cooling the air in multiple ways:

    • The coils get cold and so the air becomes cool
    • The condensed water and the air combine to provide generated heat, which condenses the water

    For that reason, the water gains additional thermal mass more than the air that remains. The additional thermal mass energy is eliminated from the coils in the water.

    Leaking AC

    Whenever you notice water leaking from your AC unit, you shouldn’t assume that the unit is operating at its full capacity. There is several times that water leaking from the HVAC system will reveal that some of the elements in the air conditioner unit may be broken or has a malfunction. To avoid a high air conditioning repair bill, you must either have an AC maintenance service in place or watch to see when problems arise, which is never easy.

    Leaking Condensation

    It is possible that on a very hot day, the air conditioning unit in your home will continue to run throughout the day to keep the home and its occupants comfortable. If you see water leaking out of the AC unit after running your AC for long periods of time, the leakage is normal. It means that the air conditioner unit is experiencing condensation as a result of the evaporator coils being excessively used, dehumidifying the air inside the home as it is supposed to do. As the humidity is reduced, dryer and cooler temperature is pumped out, circulating the interior of the home. On days where the temperature is really high, it will also increase condensation, resulting in an overflow inside the drain pan. When this happens too often, you may want to call a HVAC contractor for help.

    Conclusion

    If your AC filter is clogged with dust, small particles or debris, it may also restrict the air flow inside the home. Overtime, this can build up and make it even worse. Filters have to be changed on a regular basis. It may be best to have air conditioning maintenance service prior to the summer months so that your AC unit will be working efficiently. Whatever is resulting in leakage from your AC unit, a skilled HVAC technician can assist you.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/62593635@N08/5691811358/

  • Key Pre-Summer Maintenance Tips for an Efficient HVAC System

     

    There is no avoiding the hot summer months. It is already upon us and for that reason your air conditioning unit has to be efficiently working to combat the heat. You have to now prepare for the additional use of your AC during this time of the year in order to avoid the inconvenience of AC repair. There are several things you can do in the meantime for proper AC maintenance.

    Test Refrigerant Levels

    One of the primary elements of maintaining your HVAC system is the refrigerant level, which should be tested and checked regularly. If the refrigerant level is low, this could be as a result of some type of leaking. When the refrigerant level is low, it does not cool the house as adequately as would be the case if the refrigerant level was at the appropriate level. In addition, when refrigerant is leaking from your AC unit, it is considered an environmental hazard to the household. If you don’t know how to check the refrigerant level, call in an HVAC contractor for help.

    Air Filter Change

    If your air filter is dirty, it can cause a wide range of AC issues that will need to be repaired. You should ensure that air filters are changed up to four times annually. As it gets hot during the summer months especially, you will use your AC unit more frequently. For that reason, you should clean air filters and change when necessary.

    Digital Thermostat

    Choose a digital thermostat to get the most regulation in temperature. The traditional types of thermostats do not provide accurate temperature reading. This can cause the unit to work much harder. You can also program the digital thermostat to turn up or turn down the temperature at specific intervals, subsequently saving on energy, lessening the stress on your HVAC system and maintaining comfortable temperature inside the house.

    Clean Condenser Unit

    There is a condenser on the outdoors and this should be efficiently maintained as well to prevent AC repair. So, be sure to clean all the bushes and shrubs, if any around the AC unit, preventing these from blocking the AC’s airflow.

    Proper Ventilation

    Your HVAC system has to circulate in the attic too, if you have one. So, prior to the summer months, be sure to check your attic to see if there is anything blocking or preventing air circulation. Get rid of debris or clutter around the air vents or air ducts. This will lessen any additional load on your HVAC system.

    Conclusion

    If you can get some of these things done, your air conditioning system will remain in excellent condition, keeping your house cool during the summer months and beyond. It is time to get your house in order.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moria/95480015/

  • Factors to Consider in Making an Air Conditioning Brand Selection

    AC Brand AC Brand

    It is quite difficult for someone to feel comfortable during the summer months without having air conditioning in the home. It is also difficult when your air conditioning unit breaks down and you don’t know a good HVAC contractor to call for repair services. It is even more difficult when you have upgrade plans for the home and are getting ready to purchase a central AC unit, not having a clue on which brand to purchase.

    The Pros and Cons

    Each air conditioning brand comes with different pros and cons. Even for a specialist or expert in the industry, it is a tossup at times to suggest the ideal brand for a customer without first inspecting the home and discussing the client’s needs. There are several critical aspects to consider when choosing the right AC brand whether you are upgrading or making your first purchase.

    Longevity

    When you are trying to select the ideal air conditioning brand, lifespan and longevity should be your first concern. You want to buy an AC unit that can stand the test of time and still operate efficiently over a number of years. The earlier AC systems will tend to last longer, usually about twenty years. However, the advancement and development of more sophisticated systems and mass production may not hold true to the same longevity of the past. For example, you may find the thermostat on one AC brand works better than on another. Contact a HVAC contractor with the knowledge and experience to advise you on which of the AC brands will last longer and work more efficiently. It is good to also note that most air conditioners that are the most recent models will come with five year warranty on servicing of parts, labor and compressors.

    Energy Efficiency

    Even if durability is not one of the advantages of newer models of air conditioner units, energy efficiency tends to be an area of strength. This could be due to the interest that consumers now have in energy saving devices. Manufacturers have answered the call in making appliances with the energy star score in mind. Most of the leading AC brands have up to a seven star rating. This significantly reduces the amount of energy air conditioning units required for use. So, when you are looking to choose the best brand, pay attention to the energy star score. This will help you to save on your utility.

    The Features

    Look for the features on the brand that you are interested in. Some of these features will give you a better cooling performance. This could include:

    • Inverter
    • Compressor size
    • Timer control to preset the on and off times
    • Thermostat
    • Zoning – dividing the home into different zones
    • Advanced and sophisticated climate control to regulate the temperature in each room
    • WiFi and remote access to turn on the air conditioner several minutes before getting home

    Conclusion

    When selecting your AC brand, you should also consider the reputation of the company and if there will be any additional support offered after your purchase. Most of the well-known brands are Toshiba, Samsung, Mitsubishi and Carrier. However, consult with your HVAC contractor before you make the purchase.

     

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/69680718@N06/6333946280/

  • Issue that Regular Air Conditioning Maintenance Can Solve

    A/C Maintenance A/C Maintenance

    As with any equipment or appliance in the home, the air conditioner is a system that will ultimately need to be repaired due to wear and tear from being used regularly and possibly due to its age. When an air conditioning unit starts to lose its efficiency and capacity, most owners will be at a loss of what to do; whether to spend money on A/C repair or purchase a new air conditioning unit.

    Efficiency and Comfort

    Air conditioning maintenance is important throughout the life of your unit if you want to enjoy optimum efficiency, savings and comfort. In the meantime, it is best to take several preventative steps to avoid certain air conditioning problems, reducing recurring issues and allowing you and your family to enjoy the proper functioning of your A/C unit.

    Finding a Solution

    Air conditioning maintenance is essential to identifying problems and finding the right solution. First, though, you have to be aware of the common problems that could arise with your air conditioning unit. That way, you will know when to call an HVAC technician to assist you.

    Common Problems

    If your AC unit is not cooling as it should be, there is obviously a problem that you have to possibly repair. There are several things that could cause the AC unit from cooling:

    • It could be that debris or dirt has restricted the flow of air, resulting in blockage and therefore, a decline in the cooling capacity. The best solution for this is to do a periodic check of your AC filters, cleaning them or replacing them as frequent as every three months or according to the recommendations from the manufacturer. You could also schedule air conditioning maintenance with an experienced, professional and reputable HVA contractor.
    • Another possible cause for your AC not cooling properly is clogging of the heat exchanger. This subsequently results in the reduction of efficiency. The HVAC contractor, if called, would clean your radiator, but would first plug out the AC for safety.
    • In addition, your AC unit needs the right amount of refrigerant gas to operate properly. If not, then the excess heat in the room cannot be removed. The HVAC technician will identify if there is any leakage of refrigerant gas and may suggest that you schedule air conditioning maintenance to keep this from happening again.

    Other problems to look out for are the inconsistency of your run cycles, which could result from debris or dirt in your air conditioning unit. The dirt will cause the temperature sensor to rapidly cool and result in longer or shorter run cycle. The evaporator coils could also be affected.

    Conclusion

    An HVAC technician will check for corrosion in the plugs, terminals or wires of your air conditioning unit, inspecting also for electrical issues in the connections. If you believe that there is a problem with your AC, contact a professional AC technician for air conditioning maintenance.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/graken/535929474/

Items 1 to 10 of 12 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2

Back to top