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  • Choosing the Right Programmable Thermostat for Your Business

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    In last week’s post, we talked about some of the functional and cost-related benefits that programmable thermostats offer for businesses. Once you’ve made the decision that a programmable thermostat is right for your business, you’re faced with a wide array of choices. Here are a few of the options you have to consider when deciding which programmable thermostat best meets your business’s needs.

     

    • Single-Stage vs. Multi-Stage Programmable Thermostat

     

    Whether you need a single-stage programmable thermostat or a multi-stage option depends on the heating system in your building. A single-stage programmable thermostat will be sufficient if your building relies on a single source of heat (such as a furnace or a heat pump) and a single source of cool air (such as an air conditioning system), and if both of these sources provide hot or cold air at just one level. However, if your business’s system has inputs from two heat sources--such as a heat pump and a boiler, or a heat pump and a solar panel--you should look for a programmable thermostat that offers up to two-stage heat alongside one-stage cool.

     

    • Heat Pumps vs. Conventional Systems

     

    Some programmable thermostats are designed to work specifically with heat pump systems, while others are intended for use with conventional systems. You can also find products on the market that work well with both system types. When choosing a programmable thermostat, make sure that the type you choose aligns with the heating system in your building.

     

    • System Programming Options

     

    Some products on the market allow you to program your thermostat to correspond with a weekday/weekend schedule, which is ideal for businesses that close on weekends or have different weekend hours. Instead of having to run the same program every 24 hours, you can create a 5-2 day program or a 5-1-1 day program. That way, if your business shuts down on the weekend, you don’t have to worry about remembering to reprogram on Friday night so you don’t accidentally drain your budget by pumping in warm or cold air when there is no one in the office or the store.

     

    • Programmable/Non-Programmable Thermostats

     

    While it is clear that programmable thermostats offer a wide range of benefits for businesses, there may still be times when you may find yourself wanting manual control over your thermostat. For instance, in the face of an unexpected heat wave or cold spell, you probably want to take full control over your thermostat to make sure your employees and customers stay comfortable. If you want to prepare for such circumstances, you should look for a programmable/non-programmable thermostat, which can be changed over when needed.
    National Air Warehouse offers programmable and non-programmable thermostats that can meet the needs of any business or homeowner. Contact us today for more help choosing the right option for you!

  • The Benefits of Programmable Thermostats for Businesses

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    No matter what type of business you run, keeping the building at a comfortable temperature is a key priority. If you’re in retail, you want your customers to feel comfortable enough to browse the shelves for impulse buys, even after they’ve found what they were initially looking for. If you’re in charge of an office, you want to make sure that the temperature of the building doesn’t interfere with work productivity. At the same time, as a business owner or manager, you also have to consider the costs associated with heating and cooling.

    When you’re trying to achieve an optimal temperature balance on a tight budget, you may want to think about getting a programmable thermostat. Read on to learn why programmable thermostats make sense in business environments.

    Programming Your Workplace Environment in Advance

    With traditional, non-programmable thermostats, someone in the office has to set the temperature manually in order to ensure that the building remains at the right temperature. Whether you plan to do it yourself or rely on one of your employees, manual management of the thermostat poses a risk for unintended consequences. For instance, if someone accidentally forgets to turn down the thermostat for the night in the dead of winter, you may find that heating costs are starting to eat into your budget. At the same time, when someone overlooks the need to turn on the air conditioner, customers and employees alike may find themselves sweaty and uncomfortable in the heat of summer, which can lower sales and/or productivity. With a programmable thermostat, you can reduce the risk of human error by setting the thermostat to be on when you need it and off when you don’t.

    In addition, a programmable thermostat allows you to prepare for expected changes in temperature. During the winter, you probably don’t want to run your heater at night, but if you program your thermostat to start running an hour before people start arriving for work, you can ensure that they won’t spend their first hour trying to thaw their fingers instead of advancing organizational goals. If you live in a place where there is a temperature swing in the summer, you can do the same thing with the air conditioning--making a plan to ensure that the cooling system turns on in time for the heat of the day--but no sooner--and turns off by the time people start to head home.

    Key Features for Business Owners

    Aside from the general benefits of being able to program your thermostat, there are a few other benefits that many programmable thermostats offer for businesses. These include:

     

    • A warranty, which will ensure that you are making a good investment when you buy a programmable thermostat.
    • Power source options, so you can decide whether it is more cost-effective for you to use batteries or hardwiring to run your thermostat.
    • Low upfront costs, which typically range between $85 and $125.
    • Free shipping -- if you order from National Air Warehouse!

     
    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of programmable thermostats that can meet the needs of business owners around the country. Contact us today to find the right product for you!

  • Choosing between an Upflow and Downflow Furnace for Your Home Building Project

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    If home builders can learn anything from the winter of 2017-2018, it’s that an effective heating systems is essential for a comfortable home. As temperatures have dropped to record lows around the country, home builders need to be aware that more clients will be interested in the ability of their home’s furnace to keep their family safe and warm, regardless of the weather outside. As a home builder, one of the decisions you have to make is whether an upflow furnace or a downflow furnace is the best choice for your project. In order to figure that out, it’s important to examine some of the distinctions between upflow and downflow furnaces, as well as what they might mean for the heating of the home.

    Upflow vs. Downflow Furnaces: The Basic Differences

    At the most basic level, there are key differences in the ways that upflow and downflow furnaces heat and distribute air. With an upflow furnace, the air enters the bottom of the unit, is warmed in the heat exchanger, and then is released from the top of the unit into the ductwork of the home. A downflow furnace works in the exact opposite way: the heat enters the unit from the top, gets warmed in the heat exchanger, and then is released from the bottom of the unit into the ductwork of the home. That means that upflow furnaces are typically situated in a basement or crawl-space, while downflow furnaces must be stored in an attic.

    Considerations for Different Projects

    If you are trying to decide whether an upflow or downflow furnace makes more sense for your project, here are a few things to keep in mind:

     

    • Energy efficiency. Heat rises, so upflow furnaces are often more energy efficient than downflow furnaces. If you’re looking to cut the carbon footprint of your home building project, an upflow furnace can help you reach your efficiency goals.
    • Building and flooring costs. If you’ve already planned a basement for your home building project, this isn’t an issue but if you’re adding a basement or crawl-space to your home building project for the sole purpose of creating a space for an upflow furnace, costs can go up significantly. At the same time, adding reinforced subflooring in the attic for a downflow furnace can also be expensive.
    • Installation challenges. The installation process for downflow furnaces tends to be more difficult, and you have to pay closer attention to building codes requiring reinforced subflooring.
    • Homeowner preference. Some homeowners simply feel more comfortable in rooms where the heat comes below, rather than being dispersed from above. It’s a good idea to check with clients to find out about their preferences.

     

     

    As a homebuilder, you can find everything you need to optimize the HVAC systems of all of your at National Air Warehouse. Contact us today for more information!

  • The Benefits of a Rheem Plenum Adapter Accessory for Home Remodelers

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    When you are remodeling a home or office building, you need to make sure that the gas furnace is sufficient to guarantee a comfortable temperature throughout the newly remodeled space, no matter how cold the winter weather gets. However, things can get tricky if you realize that the size of the cased coil that is required to support the needs of the newly remodeled building is too large for the existing furnace. Read on to learn how a Rheem plenum adapter accessory can help you resolve this problem.

    Rheem Plenum Adapters: The Basics

    At the most basic level, a Rheem plenum adapter can make it possible for a nominal sized cased coil to be installed on the next-smallest size of gas furnace. More specifically, a plenum adapter can allow you to do the following:

    • Fit a 17.5-inch-wide coil 14-inch-wide furnace
    • Fit a 21-inch-wide coil with a 17.5-inch-wide furnace
    • Fit a 24.5-inch-wide coil with a 21-inch-wide furnace

    This might seem simple, but it can make a huge difference for home remodelers, in terms of both time and cost. By using a plenum adapter, you can avoid the hassle and expense of replacing an existing gas furnace that is not sufficient to meet the needs of the remodeled space. Rheem plenum adapters run about 76 dollars, which is nothing compared to the cost of a new furnace. Plus, the installation process for a plenum adapter is relatively simple -- just two steps for an upflow furnace and three steps for a downflow furnace.

    Fitting a Plenum Adapter to an Upflow or Downflow Application

    When you are buying plenum adapter for a gas furnace, you need to make sure that the accessory is designed for the type of furnace you are working with. An upflow system pushes air vertically out of the top of the furnace, usually from a basement. A downflow system pushes air from the bottom of the furnace, down into the vents, usually from an attic. There are slight differences in the designs of plenum adapter accessories for upflow and downflow applications, so you need to make sure you are getting the right one for your system.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers Rheem plenum adapter accessories for upflow and downflow systems. As a home remodeler, you can also find a wide variety of other high-quality products from Rheem, one of our featured brands. Contact us today to learn more about all of our products!

  • Choosing a Heat Strip Size That Can Keep Your Home Warm: The Factors to Consider

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    When you are buying a new furnace or air handler, you may be asked to choose a heat strip size. Depending on the product, heat strip sizes can range from 5 kW to as high as 20 kW. Ultimately, the choice you make can mean the difference between enjoying warm, cozy winter nights at home with your family and shivering through endless evenings of uncomfortable cold, wrapped in blankets and layered clothes.

    Of course, the size of your home is the most important factor, because it determines the volume of space that needs to be heated. However, there are several additional factors you need to consider when choosing the appropriate heat strip size for the furnace in your home. These factors can vary between homes, and they can make a big difference when it comes to making the appropriate decision for a heat strip size. Consider the following:

     

    • The climate in which you live. If your house is located in the Midwest or Northeast,where the temperature regularly drops below freezing in the winter, it is likely that you will need to choose a heat strip size that is larger than the size required for someone living in the Southeast in the same size house. Watching temperatures hit record lows this year, homeowners in the Midwest and Northeast don’t want to take the risk of choosing heat strips that are too small.
    • The insulation in the home. If your home is well-insulated, you may be able to get away with heat strips of a smaller size. However, if your house is poorly insulated, you may need to choose heat strips of a larger size, even if you live in a climate that is generally warm.
    • The size and location of the windows. Depending on size and location, windows can either increase or decrease the heat load of the home. Uninsulated windows can transfer cold air into the home, and if they are drafty, things can get even worse. At the same time, strategically positioned windows can also let in sunlight and decrease the heating needs of your house.

    When you choose heat strips that are above the standard size for your furnace or air handler, you typically have to pay a slightly higher price, but choosing the right size is typically well-worth it for homeowners. For instance, going from 5 kW heat strips to 10 kW heat strips for an upflow air handler can cost as little as 15 dollars -- typically representing an increase of only about 2 percent of the total cost. As a homeowner, it’s usually best to focus on the other relevant factors when choosing athe right heat strip size for your home.
    National Air Warehouse offers furnaces, air handlers, and a wide variety of other HVAC equipment. Contact us today for more information!

  • Considering a Ductless Heat Pump for Your Home

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    Last summer on the blog, we talked about the potential benefits of ductless air conditioners for home remodeling projects. Now that winter is here, it’s time to talk about ductless heat pumps. Ductless heat pumps, also known as ductless mini-complete systems, are very similar to ductless air conditioners, in that they serve as standalone climate-control systems that don’t use ducting. Thus, they are ideal for living spaces in your house where the other viable option would be baseboard heating. If you are considering a ductless heat pump for part of your home, read on to learn more about the energy-saving benefits of these systems and some of the cost considerations you should think about.

    The Energy-Saving Benefits of a Ductless Heat Pump

    The primary explanation for why many homeowners today are choosing ductless heat pumps over traditional baseboard heating is simple: the energy savings. From the start, ductless systems are more energy efficient than traditional heating systems because the mere existence of ductwork inevitably results in a loss of energy. According to one estimate, at least 25 percent of the energy generated by the HVAC system is lost to the ductwork in the average home.

    Another reason why ductless systems are more efficient is that they have inverter-driven compressors. Unlike traditional compressors in HVAC systems, which turn on and off in response to changes in the system’s needs, inverter-driven compressors simply slow down or speed up. Compressor start-up requires a lot more energy than compressor speed-up, so ductless heat pumps end up being a lot more efficient.

    It is important to note that the degree of energy efficiency varies between ductless heat pump systems. You can compare systems based on their SEER ratings. Ductless heat pumps with a 14 SEER rating have good efficiency, but there are also systems on the market today with SEER ratings as high 33.

    Cost Considerations for Consumers

    When it comes to deciding whether or not to choose a ductless heat pump for a living space in your home, cost can be a major factor. Many consumers initially shy away from ductless heat pumps because of the relatively high upfront costs, but the significant increase in energy efficiency can make up for your initial investment in the long-term.

    Moreover, in some states and localities, there are tax credits that can help offset the upfront cost of a ductless heat pump system. If you’re looking to take advantage of a tax credit, make sure to find out whether / which types of heat pumps qualify for a tax credit in your area when you are choosing a system.  

     

    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of ductless heat pump options. For more help deciding which one is right for your living space, contact us today!

  • Halloween Heating Tips for Homeowners

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    Happy Halloween! Today is the scariest day of the year, but with the cold months of winter on the horizon, you probably have something on your mind that’s even scarier than ghosts and ghouls: your winter energy bill. As a business owner, you need to keep the building warm in order to ensure the comfort of your customers and the productivity of your employees. As a homeowner, you want to keep your family cozy and warm during the long nights of winter. However, heating a home or business can be expensive, so you have to be strategic about the heating choices you make. Read on for some Halloween tips to help you keep your building warm this winter without dying of fright when you see your energy bill.

    Tip 1: It’s no treat to get tricked about AFUE.

    If you’re buying a new gas furnace for the winter, one of the things you have to consider is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of the system. This number is expressed as a percentage, and it is calculated by dividing the total heat output by the total energy consumed. When looking at these figures, it is important to understand what they might mean for your energy bill. In general, choosing a system with a higher AFUE can lower your energy bill. Medium-efficiency heating systems typically have AFUE ratings between 80% and 90%, while high-efficiency systems typically have ratings between 90% and 98.5%.

    However, it is important to note that AFUE ratings can only be directly compared if you are looking at systems that use the same fuel type. You can’t compare the AFUE of a natural gas furnace with the AFUE of an electric furnace if you are worried about your energy bill, because the costs of natural gas and electricity differ.

    Tip 2: Don’t count on the ghost in your attic to adjust your thermostat when it gets cold.

    In the winter, there’s nothing worse than coming home from a long day of work to a frigid house or arriving at your business in the morning and shivering through your 9 o’clock meeting. At the same time, you don’t want to waste energy heating your house all day when no one is home or your business all night when no one is working. To resolve this problem, you can install a programmable thermostat, which allows you to set a temperature schedule for your home or business so that it is warm when you want it to be without draining your budget by heating during the off-hours. Another option is a wi-fi thermostat, which enables you to adjust your thermostat remotely.

    Tip 3: Don’t be a ghoul and rule out a dual fuel packaged unit -- it might make sense for you!

    Dual fuel packaged units differ from traditional heat pumps in that they utilize a built-in gas furnace for supplemental heating rather than electric heat strips. Therefore, they are ideal for customers who live in places where the cost of heating with gas is lower than the cost of heating with electricity. Find out about the energy costs in your area before you rule out this option.
    Here at National Air Warehouse, we are committed to providing high quality HVAC equipment at affordable prices that even a ghost wouldn’t say boo about. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you heat your home this winter!

  • The Best U.S. States for Dual Fuel Packaged Units

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    If you are looking for a new heating system for your home or business, you might be considering a dual fuel package unit as an alternative to a package heat pump. The main difference between the two is the way that they provide supplemental heating. Unlike a traditional package heat pump, which uses electric heat strips for supplemental heating, a dual fuel package heat pump uses a built-in gas furnace.

    Because a dual fuel package heat pump relies entirely on gas for supplemental heating, rather than electricity, it is ideal for locations where the cost of heating with gas is lower than the cost of heating with electricity. Read on for information that can help you determine whether or not you live in one of those locations.

    States with Low Natural Gas Costs

    It might make sense for you to choose a dual fuel package unit if you live in one of the states with the lowest monthly natural gas costs. According to a 2017 survey, natural gas costs were the lowest in these 10 states:

    1. Michigan
    2. Alaska
    3. Rhode Island
    4. New York
    5. Illinois
    6. Massachusetts
    7. New Jersey
    8. Utah
    9. Ohio
    10. Washington, DC

    States with High Electricity Costs

    Another justification for choosing a dual fuel packaged unit is if you live in a state where the monthly electricity costs are relatively high. As of 2017, the following 10 states had the highest electricity costs:

    1. New Mexico
    2. Utah
    3. Colorado
    4. Illinois
    5. Washington
    6. Washington, DC
    7. California
    8. Minnesota
    9. Michigan
    10. Oregon

    Recognizing Local Differences

    Looking at lists of the states with the lowest natural gas costs and the highest electricity costs, it initially seems that a dual fuel packaged unit is the only way to go in places that fall into both categories: Michigan, Illinois, and Washington, DC. You might also think that if your state is not on either one of these lists, a dual fuel packaged unit is out of the question.

    However, it is important to note that electricity and natural gas costs can vary within states. Therefore, these lists can give you an idea of whether or not a dual fuel packaged unit is more financially feasible than a traditional package heat pump, but in order to be sure, you should look into your local energy costs.  

     
    National Air Warehouse offers all kind of heating systems, including dual fuel packaged units that ship for free -- no matter where in the country you live. Contact us today for more information about our products!

  • The Benefits of Central Gas Heating For Businesses

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    If you are a business owner, finding an effective and affordable way to heat your business in the coming winter months is a major priority. It also poses a significant challenge for business owners who are trying to heat large spaces. If you own a store, you need to keep your patrons warm and comfortable as they shop so that they stay and browse your products, rather than retreating to the warmth of their cars as quickly as possible. Similarly, if you manage a large office space, keeping the area warm during the winter will help maintain employee morale and boost productivity throughout the workday.

    A great option for business owners looking to heat large spaces is central gas heating. By installing a gas furnace in your building, you can keep a large area warm and comfortable all winter, without breaking your business’s budget. Read on to find out more about the benefits of choosing central gas heating for your business.

    Why a Gas Furnace Is Ideal for Large Spaces

    The process through which a gas furnace generates and distributes heat makes central gas heating an ideal choice for business owners who are trying to heat large stores and workspaces. In the first step of the process, gas is burned in the furnace’s burner. It is then combusted in the heat exchanger, which generates the heat necessary to warm indoor air as it is blown in from the building’s ductwork, passing over the heat exchanger to capture the heat of combustion. In the final step, the hot air is blown into the supply ductwork of the building, which carries it to the areas that need to be warmed.

    If you are heating a large space like a store or an office, the ductwork does not have to be very complex for the warm air to get where it needs to go. Depending on the location of the furnace, warm air can be distributed into the large area shortly after being heated, making a central gas heating system extremely effective while also minimizing energy loss.

    Choosing an Energy Efficient Gas Furnace

    Some business owners worry that central gas heating systems are not as “green” as electric heating systems. However, recent advances in gas furnace technology have significantly improved their energy efficiency. Many of the gas furnaces on the market today have an AFUE rating of 95% or even higher.That means that they use much less energy than the legacy systems that you might be familiar with -- saving your business money and limiting the effects that your central heating system has on the environment.

    If your business is interested in a central heating system, National Air Warehouse has a wide range of options that you can choose from. Contact us today to find the system that is right for you!

  • Understanding the AFUE Rating System

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    When looking for a new furnace, you’ll probably notice different options have different AFUE ratings. AFUE (which may be pronounced as “A-Few” or “A-F-U-E”) stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Essentially, it is a measure of the efficiency with which the furnace operates. Therefore, it essential to consider the AFUE rating when you purchase a new furnace.

    Calculating the AFUE Rating

    The Federal Trade Commission requires all new furnaces and boilers in the United States to display their AFUE rating to consumers. Like SEER ratings for air conditioning systems, the AFUE rating indicates the level of efficiency with which your system operates. However, unlike the SEER rating system, which utilizes an arbitrary rating scale, the AFUE rating coincides with the direct calculation of the ratio of the annual heat output of the furnace to the total amount of energy consumed by the furnace. Put more simply, it is the amount of heat produced per unit of energy consumed.

    AFUE = (Total heat output) / (Total energy consumed)

    When you perform this calculation, you will come up with a percentage -- which is your AFUE rating. If your AFUE rating is 85%, then 85% of the fuel you put in your furnace will be converted into usable heat. The other 15% will be lost to air leaks, burners, and other sources of inefficiency. However, it is important to note that heat losses in the duct system and piping are not included in the AFUE rating. According the the U.S. Department of Energy, additional energy losses can be as high as 35% if your ducts are located in an attic, garage, or other unconditioned area.

    What to Expect from an AFUE Rating

    For old, low efficiency heating systems, the AFUE is usually between 56% and 70%. A heating system is considered to have medium-level efficiency if the AFUE rating is between 80% and 83%. To be considered a high efficiency heating system, a furnace must have an AFUE rating that is between 90% and 98.5%. Choosing a higher efficiency system with a higher AFUE rating will help you save both energy and money.

    An Important Caveat: AFUE Ratings and Fuel Type

    When it comes to energy cost comparisons, AFUE ratings can only be directly compared if you are looking at systems that utilize the same fuel type. For example, natural gas furnaces can vary widely in AFUE rating, while all electric furnaces have AFUE ratings between 95% and 100%, since there are basically no sources of energy loss -- but that doesn’t mean that choosing the electric furnace will yield lower energy costs. Electricity costs more than natural gas in most parts of the country, so a gas furnace with a slightly lower AFUE rating will probably save you money in the long run.

    National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of medium- and high-efficiency gas furnaces. Contact us today to find the right system for your home or business!

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