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  • 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!

  • 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!

  • Comparing Single Run Capacitors: MFD, VAC, and Price

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    The run capacitor is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system. As we have discussed in a past post, a faulty run capacitor requires an immediate replacement. In furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps, the run capacitor holds the electrical charge that powers the fan motor, so a broken run capacitor renders your system useless.

    When browsing the options for new single run capacitors, you will see that different products vary in three ways: the value of the MFD, the value of the VAC, and the price. Typically, the price depends on the previous two factors. Read on to learn more about these three variables so that you can choose the right single run capacitor for your system.

    Understanding MFD: What Does It Mean?

    The MFD for single run capacitors on the market today can range from as low as 5 MFD to as high as 80 MFD. MFD stands for “Microfarads,” and it is a measure of the unit’s capacitance -- that is, the amount of charge that the capacitor can store when a particular voltage is applied. Single run capacitors with higher MFD values have greater capabilities, so they can support larger heating and cooling systems. This explains why the price of a single run capacitor tends to increase with MFD value. When you choose the right MFD capacitor for your system, it ensures that the motor RPM and the motor torque are ideal for your system, ensuring its effectiveness and efficiency.

    VAC Value: 370 or 440?

    The other value that you confront when choosing between single run capacitors is the VAC value. VAC stands for “Volts Alternating Current,” and it indicates the supply voltage for which the unit is rated. Depending on your system, you need a run capacitor with either 370 VAC or 440 VAC. Again, because single run capacitors with 440 VAC support larger, more capable HVAC systems, they tend to be priced slightly higher -- but it’s worth a few more dollars if you are replacing a run capacitor with 440 VAC. Otherwise, the voltage applied will be too high for the capacitor to withstand, so it could fail without warning.

    Direct Price Comparisons

    To get a better idea of what you can expect to pay for single run capacitors with different MFD and VAC values, here are are a few direct price comparisons:

    370 VAC                                 440 VAC

    7.5 MFD: $23.25                   $24.75

    15 MFD $28.58                     $30.08

    25 MFD $38.14                     $39.65

    40 MFD $52.79                     $54.29

    55 MFD $66.83                     $68.34

    70 MFD $76.19                     $77.70


    If you are looking to replace your single run capacitor, National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of options. Contact us today to learn more 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!

  • 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!

  • Distinguishing Between Run Capacitor Options

    As you might guess from the name, the run capacitor plays a key role in keeping your HVAC system up and running. As a result, there’s never a good time to find out that you have a faulty run capacitor. Furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps all rely on run capacitors to work properly. The capacitor holds the electric charge that powers the fan motor in your HVAC system, so when the capacitor stops working, you have to get a replacement.

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    Choosing a new run capacitor can be harder than you think. Browsing the options can be confusing, since many capacitors look similar, and the distinctions between them can be hard to navigate: What do Single and Dual mean? What do MFD and VAC mean? As you consider different run capacitors, it can be helpful to understand these terms so that you can identify the run capacitor that is most compatible with your system.

    Single vs. Dual Capacitors

    As you look at the different run capacitors on the market, one of the most important things to note is whether the product you are considering is a single unit run capacitor (often shortened to “single” in product descriptions) or a dual run capacitor (often shortened to “dual”). When you are replacing the run capacitor in your unit, you should make sure that the type you purchase is the same as the one you are replacing.

    A single unit run capacitor hooks up to a single motor, and it is more commonly used in smaller HVAC systems, like small air conditioners. A dual run capacitor incorporates two capacitors into a single unit. With a dual run capacitor, you can power two electric motors. That makes dual run capacitors ideal for for larger HVAC systems, like large air conditioners and heat pump units that have both a fan motor and a compressor motor.

    Comparing Electrical Ratings

    Run capacitors can be described by two electrical ratings: MFD and VAC. The first rating, MFD, refers to the unit’s capacitance, which is given in microfarads (MFD). The capacitance is the amount of charge that the capacitor can store when a particular voltage is applied. The second rating, VAC, is an indicator of the supply voltage for which the unit is rated. Most run capacitors on the market today are either 370 VAC or 440 VAC. You need to make sure that you choose a capacitor that matches the supply voltage for your system, because if the voltage applied is too high, it can cause your capacitor to fail prematurely.

    National Air Warehouse offers many different run capacitors. You can choose between over 30 single unit capacitors and over 50 run capacitors, with a wide range of capacitance levels (MFD). Depending on your needs, there are also both 370 VAC and 440 VAC products to choose from. Contact us today to find the run capacitor that is right for you!

  • 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!

  • Understanding Insulation Ratings for Duct Replacements: A Guide for Home Remodelers

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    If you are a home remodeler, you might find yourself needing to replace the ducts in existing HVAC systems. Whether the duct is in an attic, a basement, or a crawlspace, the wear-and-tear of long-term usage can damage the duct, resulting in leaks that cause air to escape before it can be released into the home. In many cases, ducting needs to be replaced as part of a larger home remodel, in order to ensure that a comfortable climate can be maintained in all rooms of the house.

    While the ductwork in an older home may be uninsulated, most of the replacement ducts on the market today are insulated. When you consider the options, you will find that different ducts have different insulation ratings, which are expressed as R-values. You need to understand what the R-value means in order to choose the right one for your home remodeling project.

    Thermal Resistance (R-Value) Definition

    The United States Department of Energy defines thermal resistance, also known as R-value, as “the insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow.” Put more simply, the R-value measures the effectiveness of the insulation material. A material with a higher R-value is a better insulator. Some of the factors that influence R-value include the composition of the insulation material, the thickness of the material, and its density.

    The Right R-Value for a Home Remodeling Project

    When deciding how high the R-value needs to be for the home remodeling project that you are currently working on, the two main things you need to consider are the climate zone in which you are working and the location of the ducting within the home.

    • For homes that are located in a COLD CLIMATE, a high R-value is extremely important. If the ducting is located in an attic, the R-value should be between R6 and R11. For ducting located in a crawlspace or unheated basement, anywhere from R2 to R11 will probably suffice.
    • For homes that are located in a MIXED CLIMATE, a high R-value is slightly less important, but it can help to save the homeowner money during the colder months. If the ducting is located in an attic, an R-value between R4 and R8 is sufficient. The range expands if the ducting is located in a crawlspace or unheated basement; anywhere from R2 to R8 will probably work.
    • For homes that are located in a WARM CLIMATE, you should still be looking for replacement ducts with R-values between R4 and R8 if the ducting is located in the attic. If the ducting is located in a crawlspace or unheated basement, you can probably get away with no insulation at all, but to be on the safe side and help save the homeowner money, most home remodelers choose ducting with an R2 or R4 value.

    If you’re looking to purchase ducting for your home remodeling project, National Air Warehouse offers options with R-values ranging from R4 to R8. Contact us today for more information about our products!

  • 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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