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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!

  • Insulated Flexible Duct Decisions: Price Considerations for Cost-Savvy Customers

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    In last week’s post, we talked about the performance considerations that homeowners and home builders must make when choosing between insulated flexible duct options. When it comes to the choice between products, cost is often the other major factor that you may be considering. Whether you’re trying to optimize the heating and cooling system in your own home or working to meet the needs of your clients as a home builder, it is important to ensure that the duct you choose falls within your short-term and long-term budget. There are two main factors that affect the prices of insulated flexible ducts: diameter and R-value. Read on to learn more about the direct (and indirect) costs (and savings) associated with each.

    The Impacts of Duct Diameter and R-Value on Cost

    In general, the lengths of insulated flexible ducts are standardized around 25 feet, regardless of their diameter. That way, you always have the option of cutting the duct to whatever length you  need. As duct diameter increases, so does the amount of insulation in a 25-foot-long duct, which explains the simultaneous increase in price. When you think about buying a duct with a larger diameter, you also have to consider the cost of the supports that you will need to prevent the duct from sagging when you install it. Ideally, you want to prevent the duct from sagging by more than about two-and-a-half inches, so with large-diameter ducts, you should plan to us a support every four feet.

    As you consider the upfront costs of ducts, the other key factor is the R-value. The R-value indicates the effectiveness of the insulation, with a higher R-value associated with higher effectiveness. Insulated flexible ducts can range between R4 and R8, and the price increases for higher R-values. At the same time, choosing a duct with a higher R-value may save you money in the long run--especially if you live in a cold area--since ducts with higher R-values are more effective for trapping heat and can therefore help lower your energy bills.

    The Relationship between R-Value and Duct Diameters: Ratings vs. True R-Values

    When you’re thinking about energy savings, it is also important to acknowledge the interplay between R-value and duct diameter. A duct with a 6-inch diameter and a duct with a 14-inch diameter may both be rated R6, but the true R-value -- that is, the true effectiveness of the insulation for retaining heat -- is higher for the 14-inch duct, simply because the larger amount of material makes it harder for heat to escape. That means that R-value ratings are can only truly be compared for ducts of the same diameter. Therefore, the discrepancy between R-value ratings and true R-values is another factor that you should keep in mind as you weigh the short-term and long-term financial costs of different insulated flexible duct options.
    At National Air Warehouse, you can find competitively priced insulated flexible ducts with R6 and R8 ratings, ranging in diameter from 4 inches to 20 inches. Contact us today for more help finding the right one for your project!

  • Choosing Between Insulated Flexible Duct Options for Your Home: Performance Considerations for Homeowners and Home Builders

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    Last week on the blog, we talked about installing and/or replacing ducts in a mobile home. Today, we’re going to discuss the insulated flexible ductwork choices that can work for any type of home or business. For home builders who are looking to install ductwork for the first time or homeowners who are looking to repair ducts that are faulty and/or damaged, it is important to recognize the differences between the different options on the market -- and what these differences mean in terms of the performance of the product.

    How R-Value Affects the Performance of an Insulated Flexible Duct

    When you are considering the performance of insulated flexible ducts, the measure you want to look at is the thermal resistance, also known as the R-value. The R-value is a measure of the effectiveness of the insulation. For an insulated flexible duct, this value is determined by factors such as the composition of the insulation material, its thickness, and its density. A higher R-value means that the insulation will be more effective, which is particularly important in cold climates, where high-level insulation performance is essential in order to keep the building warm when temperatures drop below freezing.

    The Performance Benefits of a Metalized Jacket for an Insulated Flexible Duct

    Another aspect of an insulated flexible duct that can play a role in its performance is its metalized jacket. You’ll find metalized jackets offered on insulated flexible ducts for most types of buildings because they offer protective benefits. Specifically, the metalized jacket can keep water out, which reduces the risk that moisture will interfere with the functioning of your heating and cooling system. The metalized jacket also provides a protective barrier against other potential sources of damage to the duct, such as dust buildup or animals that chew through the insulation.

    Some metalized jackets, commonly known as “silver jackets,” have an additional performance benefit -- they absorb noise. For homeowners who are looking to stifle disruptive sounds, a silver flex metalized jacket noise absorption is a significant performance benefit when choosing between insulated flexible ducts. If your vision of top-performing ductwork is a duct that supports a quiet atmosphere, a duct with a silver metalized jacket is probably your best option.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers high-performing flexible ducts that can meet the needs of any homeowner or home builder. Contact us today for more information about our products!

  • Installing or Replacing a Duct for a Mobile Home: Getting the Parts You Need

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    Mobile homes are on the rise in the United States. In 2016 alone, over 81,000 mobile homes were sold and shipped, which was a 15 percent increase over 2015. According to the latest survey data, there are seventeen states in which at least one out of every ten housing units is a mobile home, and in some states, that number is closer to one in five. If you’re a home remodeler (or a mobile home resident yourself), you need to be ready to deal with possible heating and cooling system challenges, such as a situation where you need to install or replace some of the ductwork. Read on for more information about choosing a flexible mobile home duct.

    Choosing High Quality Insulation for a Flexible Mobile Home Duct

    One of the defining factors that determines the quality of a flexible mobile home duct is the effectiveness and durability of the insulation. In fact, the reason that most mobile home owners find themselves having to replace a flexible duct is that there has been damage to the insulation. For instance, an animal like a mouse might have chewed through the insulation, or the insulation could be damaged by the buildup of mold or mildew. Not only does insulation damage reduce the effectiveness of the mobile home’s heating and cooling system, but it can also make it easier for dirt and dust to build up in the ductwork, or even for animals or reptiles to take up residence.

    When you are choosing a new flexible duct for a mobile home, you should look for an option with an insulation rating of at least R4. The R-value is an indicator of a material’s insulating effectiveness, and an R4 value is considered to be acceptable for mobile home duct insulation material.

    The Size of the Duct: Length and Diameter Considerations

    When choosing a flexible mobile home duct, there are two size considerations: the length and the diameter. Usually, it’s best to find a duct that is at least 25 feet long. Even if it’s more than you need, you can always cut it shorter to fulfill the specifications of your heating and cooling systems.

    More importantly, you need to determine the appropriate diameter to fit the mobile home’s heating and cooling system. Duct diameters range between 8 and 14 inches, and the price varies based on the diameter. A duct with a diameter of 8 inches may be less than 100 dollars, while you can expect to pay closer to 200 for a duct of the same length with a 14-inch diameter, because of the extra insulation material.
    No matter what diameter you’re looking for, National Air Warehouse has the insulated flexible home duct you need. Contact us today for more information!

  • The Costs and Benefits of Replacing a Centralized Heating and Cooling System with a Ductless System

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    Traditionally, ductless air conditioners are used in single-room settings, such as a room addition or garage conversion. However, some homeowners today are considering replacing their entire centralized heating and cooling systems with an entirely ductless system. This approach is unusual, but it is becoming increasingly popular as concerns about energy efficiency grow. Read on for more information that can help you decide if going entirely ductless is the right choice for your home.

    The Benefits of an Entirely Ductless System

    There are two main reasons why homeowners today are deciding to replace their centralized heating and cooling systems with ductless systems: environmental concerns and energy costs. As the threat of climate change grows , many homeowners are looking for ways to lower their carbon footprint. Cost-savvy homeowners are also looking to find ways to lower their monthly energy bills. Replacing a centralized heating and cooling system with a ductless alternative can accomplish both goals. Consider the following realities:

    • By some estimates, about 25 percent of the energy generated in a centralized heating and cooling system gets lost to the ductwork -- a non-issue with ductless systems.
    • The inner workings of a ductless system are inherently conducive to energy savings. In a centralized heating and cooling system, the compressor turns on and off in response to changes in the system’s needs, but with a ductless system, the compressor only speeds up or slows down, which is less energy-intensive.

    Homeowners may also opt to make the switch from to a fully ductless system if there are varying climate control needs in different parts of the home. For instance, in a home where several renters each have a room but share a central living area, a ductless system can enable each tenant to choose the temperature of their own room. For empty-nesters whose kids have left for college and who rarely spend time in rooms other than the kitchen, living room, and master bedroom, it simply doesn’t make sense to use a centralized heating system that unnecessarily keeps empty rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

    The Upfront Costs of Ductless Systems

    The primary deterrent for homeowners who are considering replacing a centralized system with a ductless system is the upfront cost. Depending on the cooling capacity, cooling efficiency, and brand, a ductless air conditioner can range in cost from around $1000 to around $3,300. The energy savings may make up for the upfront costs in the long-run, but you have to recognize that adopting an entirely ductless heating and cooling system for your home is going to be a significant initial investment.
    Whether you are looking for a ductless system for a single room or for multiple rooms in your home, National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of high-quality products. Contact us today for more information!

  • Your Guide to Choosing a Standalone TXV: Sizing, Types, and Costs

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    In an earlier post, we covered the basics of the Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) -- what it does (and does not do), plus some of the considerations you have to make when deciding whether or not to add a TXV to your purchase or purchase a standalone TXV for an existing system. With newer systems, you may not have to make that choice at all, since a TXV is often already incorporated for efficiency purposes. However, if it becomes clear that you need to add a standalone TXV to your system, it is important to make sure you choose the right product for your system. Read on for more information about the sizing, refrigerant types, and costs of purchasing a standalone TXV.

    The Right Model for Your System

    When buying a standalone TXV, you have to choose one that is consistent with the cooling capacity of your system. The cooling capacity is a measure of your air conditioning system’s ability to remove heat from the air in your home in a certain amount of time. The unit of measure for cooling capacity is tonnage. Typically, a TXV is designed to work for systems that fall within certain tonnage ranges. That means you can find:

    • A TXV for 1.5 to 2 ton systems
    • A TXV for 2 to 3 ton systems
    • A TXV for 3.5 to 5 ton systems

    Refrigerant Type

    You may have heard that the R22 refrigerant is being phased out in favor of the more environmentally friendly R410-A. However, many homeowners still have legacy air conditioning systems that utilize R22, so you can find a TXV that is compatible with either one of these refrigerant types. When you are choosing between products, make sure that the TXV you buy is optimized for the refrigerant that your system utilizes.

    Cost Considerations

    If you’re buying a standalone TXV for an existing system, you can expect to spend around $100, or a little less. When considering the cost of a TXV, you may also want to factor in the warranty, which can add value the product. At the same time, you should also recognize that field installation presents a possible cost -- unless you’re a home-builder or a do-it-yourselfer, in which case installation may be less of a concern.

    Currently, National Air Warehouse offers a Goodman TXV (of any size) for $91.69, with free shipping. This product also comes with a one-year warranty. Contact us today to learn more about this TXV and all of our other products!

  • Air Conditioner Coil Specifications: Making Sense of the Differences between Products

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    Last week on the blog, we discussed some of the considerations you should make when deciding whether to replace your air conditioner coil or get entirely new system. If you have decided that replacing the air conditioner coil is the right option for you, it is important to make sure that the specifications of the air conditioner coil you choose are in line with your system’s needs. Read on to learn more about what distinguishes the different air conditioner coils on the market today.

    Differences between Air Conditioner Coil Options

    All air conditioner coils play the same basic role in your cooling system: They draw in air from the surroundings, cool and condition it, and then release it into your home so that your living space remains cool and comfortable, regardless of the weather outside. For most systems, you will also be choosing between cased coils, which tend to look similar to each other. However, there are key differences between these products that you need to consider when making a purchasing decision:

     

    • Unit airflow orientation. The three options for indoor unit air flow are upflow, downflow, and horizontal. Just as you would expect, with an upflow system, cool air is discharged from the top of the unit. With a downflow system, cool air is discharged from the bottom. With a horizontal system, cool air is discharged from the side. When replacing your air conditioner coil, it is essential to make sure that the orientation of your new product matches that of your old one -- or your air conditioner will be blowing cool air in the wrong direction!
    • Width. The widths of cased evaporator coils typically range between 14 inches and 25 inches. Before choosing a replacement, you should make sure it will fit in the place where your cooling system is located.
    • Cooling capacity. You can find an air conditioner coil with a cooling capacity anywhere between 1.5 tons and 5 tons. The ideal tonnage for your home can vary based on a variety of factors, and choosing a product with a cooling capacity that is too high or too low can cause serious problems. Again, unless you have significant concerns about the past performance of your system, you probably want to match up the cooling capacity of the new system with the old one.
    • Refrigerant type. As we discussed in last week’s post, most new systems use R-104A as the refrigerant. However, there are some legacy systems that still use R22, and you can still buy an air conditioner coil that will work in one of those systems, even though R22 is being phased out.

    Beyond Cased Air Conditioner Coils

    It is important to note that not all air conditioner coils are cased. For unique systems, you can customer order an air conditioner coil configuration that meets your specific needs. With a custom order, you can make sure that your air conditioner coil replacement is optimized for your cooling system, even when you can’t find what you need among the available options.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of cased air conditioner coils, and we also do custom orders. Contact us today for more information!

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

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

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

    Considering the Upcoming Phaseout of R22 Refrigerant

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

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

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

  • 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!

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