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  • Is Your AC Unit the Last Thing You're Thinking About?

    What's on your mind

    Its rare today to find a home that doesn't have air conditioning. We have all become so accustomed to having cool air on demand that we seldom think about the unit that creates that cool comfort until it no longer works. Air conditioning units are mechanical devices and, as such, need a little thought and routine maintenance to keep them working properly. The best time to think of this is before problems arise. Replacing a unit that could have been saved with just a little effort is both expensive and time-consuming.

    Just as you go to a doctor for routine yearly exams, a qualified AC professional should be called in to give your unit a thorough check. By doing this, small issues may be found and corrected before becoming larger, more expensive to repair issues. The best time to schedule the yearly check is before hot weather arrives. Most AC technicians aren't as busy and can get to you faster, plus any needed parts are easier to come by than when demand is higher.

    Good air flow is essential to the efficient working of an AC unit. Filters should be changed monthly or more often if there are animals or a large amount of dust in the area. Filters are cheap but can help prevent major problems with the unit. Be sure not to block the filter area.

    A simple quick vacuuming of the indoor part of the unit keeps the coils clean and better able to cool. Think about doing this at the same time as your filter change; it only takes minutes but can help save you hours or days of uncomfortably waiting for a repairman.

    When outdoors, think about spraying the outside part of the unit with the water hose. Again, this cleans the coils of dust, dirt, and any yard debris that may be blocking air flow. Once a week is not too often to do this during hot, dry weather.

    If your thermostat is old, it may need to be replaced as it has a direct effect on the unit as a whole. Thermostats are affordable and easily replaced here at National Air Warehouse. The newer, digital thermostats are proven to work better and more efficiently. Some are programmable to raise or lower the temperature at certain times - there's no need to keep the house at 72 degrees if no one's home!

    Air conditioning units are designed and built to withstand many years of use with just a little thought from you about the small do-it-yourself things you can do to keep it at peak performance.

  • Determining the Right Size AC Unit for Your Home

    AC Unit Size for Homes

    Determining the right size air conditioning unit for your home can help you to have trouble-free climate control without frequent breakdowns and shortened lifespan. Bigger is not necessarily better in air conditioning, and the right unit will help you to save money and frustration as time goes on. Although a number of “rules of thumb” exist for choosing the right size unit, other factors may also be involved in efficient air conditioning operation.

    House and Room Size
    Careful measurements of the size of the house and each individual room must be done to determine the square area that is to be climate controlled. Although you may think that having more air conditioning capacity than is required by the house, the wrong size unit will cause greater wear and tear on parts.

    Ceiling Height
    The ceiling height in your home will have a significant effect on the amount of wear on the unit. A unit will have to work harder to fill the space in a room with a higher ceiling than standard height. Sloped ceilings may require increased operation than standard height ceilings.

    House Wall Area
    The exposed wall space on each side of the building exterior will also have an effect on air conditioning sizing. The number of doors and windows that allow air leakage is calculated into the number of BTU’s needed to cool interior areas.

    Type of Construction
    The type of construction of your home can affect how the air conditioning system operates. Factors such as the location of the unit, the length of ductwork, type of connections and number of floors in the home will affect the efficiency of operation of the unit.

    Insulation Level in the Home
    Many newer homes have a high level of insulation of attics, windows, doors, basements and other areas. The ability to keep cool air in the structure will also factor in the size of the air conditioning unit you choose.

    The Home’s Air Leakage Rate
    The home’s air leakage rate will also factor in the size of the air conditioning unit. How well windows and doors fit, the amount of caulking to seal air leaks and the condition of certain construction features can make a significant difference in how much cool air escapes from the interior and how hard the unit must work to replace it.

    The Home’s Duct Leakage Rate
    A professional heating and air conditioner contractor will have the equipment necessary for measuring the amount of leakage in the home’s ductwork.

    All of these factors can be computed by a professional heating and air conditioning contractor to ensure that you have the right size air conditioning unit for efficient operation in your home. A trained technician can perform a Manual J, D, T and S to properly design and measure the right amount of cooling and heating that your home needs. You can learn more about the Manual calculations if you click here. If you would like additional information on sizing you current or new AC system, please call one of our friendly staff to help guide you on determining the correct AC system size.

  • Choosing the Proper Insulated Flexible Duct with Metalized Jacket

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    Insulated flexible ducts with metalized jackets are used in the HVAC industry for supply air, return air, and exhaust air transport where air conditioners, heaters, and ventilation applications exist. Such ductwork maintains good air quality, comfort, and prevents costly inefficiency. The inner polyethylene tube with reinforced wire coil gives strength and keeps the air inside the tube. The thin metal jacket keeps moisture and condensation from getting on the insulation, and the flexibility allows the duct to curve if necessary. The insulation in U.S. insulated ducts is typically glass wool or fiber glass.

    The size of the fitting on the heater, AC unit, etc. will of course determine the needed duct diameter, and the length is normally cut by the installer. It is ideal to keep the distance short since a certain amount of pressure will be lost by air while it is travelling through the duct, and sharp bends and kinks also are avoided. The flexible ducts attach to the rigid sheet metal ductwork, to the AC, the heater, or have open contact with outside air.

    Each duct has an "R" rating for its insulating capacity- for example, R6 ducts do well up to 200 degrees, and has one third more insulation around it than an R4. The greater insulation, the greater efficiency, but also the more one pays for the product. Wherever relatively hot air is present in the duct, especially if traveling through space with extremely lower temperature air in it, it is most important to have a high R rating. The cold air return to a heater would not need as great an R value then as the supply duct. The opposite would be the case with a split AC unit since the hot air is traveling outside, and the cold air is moving into the building. Another possible application for a high R duct would be a clothes dyer exhaust tube.

    While the metal jacket keeps out moisture, there are also versions of metalized jackets, e.g. one line of ducts' "silver jacket" feature, that are effective in noise absorption
    as well. Clearly these would be more crucial when the duct goes through or near oft-used rooms- not so much in a little visited basement on the other hand.

    Another special flexible duct is one with a heavy black jacket of polyethylene and UV light elements built in. They are commonly referred to as mobile home ducts for their due to their increased usage for this type of construction. This duct is particularly suited for use outside, though if in a well-lighted room, it could be useful indoors as well.

    Insulated flexible ducts with metal jackets come in numerous standard sizes for different sized heater, vents, and ACs- some are even designed specifically for mobile homes. They install easy enough over round or oval fittings and can be easily cut and taped if one has the right equipment and a little experience. However, choosing the right R level for each duct and looking for special metal coatings that resist fire better or reflect light better, etc. often requires professional advice or services.

  • What Makes Goodman Such a Trusted Brand Name?

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    The Goodman brand of air conditioning, heating and ventilation (HVAC) units was established more than 30 years ago in Texas, where its products are still manufactured today. Although you might not be familiar with the Goodman mark yet, Goodman is owned by Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P., which sells products under several other highly esteemed brands you might be more familiar with, like Amana and QuietFlex.

    Although all manufacturers claim they care about quality, the quality workmanship of Goodman Air Conditioner products is actually certified by a third party, so you can trust that Goodman’s commitment to quality production is real and the appliances you purchase from Goodman are reliable. Every Goodman manufacturing plant is ISO 9001 certified, meaning each plant has been closely scrutinized and vetted by the International Organization for Standardization to ensure it operates in accordance with a documented quality management system.

    Once this much respected certification is earned, it has to be renewed periodically through further on-site evaluations, which means the Goodman brand must always abide by the same high standards of production to maintain its ISO 9001 certification. One of the hallmarks of an ISO 9001 certified company like Goodman is consistency: products are made using a repeatable, standardized and measured process with a focus on error prevention, defect elimination and continuous process improvement. The resulting high performance products are dependable and long lived. Goodman production plants are also ISO 14001-certified, which means they follow environmentally friendly business practices.

    In addition to longevity, quality and environmental sensitivity, the Goodman brand is one you can trust because it has been evaluated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and given an A+ rating, the highest possible ranking for a business. This ranking means there are no complaints on file for Goodman, and all publicly released information about Goodman and its products is favorable. It also means that the Goodman’s customer service practices are effective, so if you ever happen to experience a problem with a Goodman product, the Goodman customer service team can resolve it for you.

    Goodman warranties products up to 10 years, which is a generous amount of time as compared to its competitors. Most Goodman product comes with an automatic warranty, too; no special action is required to initiate your coverage, and if you want to know what your warranty covers, you can find the warranty for the specific product you bought on our website or the Goodman website. The warranty language is clear and understandable.

    These factors ensure the Goodman brand is one you can trust and rely upon for effective products that perform exceptionally well.

  • Capacitors – An Important Part of the Heating and Cooling Systems

    AC-Motor-Capacitor

    The idea behind capacitors was first discovered in the mid-1740s in Germany. Ewald Georg von Kleist realized that he could store an electric charge by connecting a volume of water with a high-voltage electrostatic generator. Over the course of multiple centuries, the technology for capacitors has evolved in leaps and bounds, but the concept is basically the same. Capacitors are designed to contain an electric charge, including multiple pairs of conductors, which are broken into different parts by an insulator.

    Any cooling or heating system in your house with a motor will require a capacitor to function properly. The size of the motor in your system is the determining factor of the size of your capacitor. The most widely available capacitor sizes are 10, 7.5, and 5 mfd. These sized capacitors are generally inexpensive, but usually correspond to motor failure within days after being replaced.

    The two main types of capacitors are single run capacitors and dual run capacitors. There are also start capacitors, which give the compressor an extra boost of energy when the motor starts up. Unlike start capacitors, which only give that brief boost, run capacitors work continuously while the motor is powered. Run capacitors are usually made of polypropylene film, allowing them to remain energized during prolonged periods of running.

    Single run capacitors mostly function as parts in small air conditioning units. They can be hooked up to a single motor due to their two connections. There are few disparities between dual and single run capacitors. Basically, a dual run capacitor is two run capacitors in one. Other than being vastly more powerful than single run capacitors, there is virtually no difference between the dual and single capacitor. Dual run capacitors are used in bigger AC and heat pump units. They also have three connections. When you have to replace a capacitor, knowing how many connections the previous one had will be the best way to determine whether you need a single or dual run capacitor.

    On many occasions, it might be in your best interest to bring in a professional technician with the proper tools and knowledge to determine whether or not there are issues with a capacitor. Deteriorating capacitors start to affect the motors they help operate. As it gets worse, the motor may stop working completely. Some capacitors appear swollen when they start to fail and can even burst if not replaced before the swelling continues to increase. Newer capacitors have a “Pressure Sensitive Interrupter”, which prevents swelling by making the capacitor fail before it reaches that point. The extent of the damage will also determine whether the capacitor needs to repaired or replaced.

  • Need to Know: Air Conditioning Freon and Refrigerant Leaks

    Freon Leak

    There are many tools that help air conditioning units function properly. One of those tools is a substance called Freon. It was created as a replacement for the dangerous coolant that use to accompany old cooling systems, such as refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.

    Freon is a nonflammable, odorless and colorless liquid that has to be produced since it doesn’t occur naturally. It’s composed up of various amounts of chlorine and a host of many other different atoms that include fluorine, carbon and hydrogen.

    It’s a chemical that proves to be dangerous because of the potential impacts it ultimately causes to the environment, mostly with being a major factor in depleting the ozone levels. Such impacts have landed it to be banned in the U.S. with it only being manufactured through regulated material use. Before any item is disposed of, the Freon must be removed.

    More importantly, the process of handling Freon should only be attempted by licensed technicians who’ve been certified by the EPA. As far as the effects on humans are concerned, Freon isn’t dangerous unless it’s inhaled directly. Generally, a typical Freon leak isn’t enough to be harmful, but the presence can cause irregular heartbeats. This makes people with heart problems more susceptible to the fumes if they’re inhaled.

    Some of the common causes of Freon leakage include:
    • Physical damage
    • Condenser unit vibration
    • Stress points

    An outdoor unit that’s placed improperly outside can create strong vibrations that can weaken or fracture the lines that contain refrigerant. Physical damage that can cause leaks can be from other objects such as lawnmowers, which can cast rocks and sticks that can certainly cause damage to outside units. Stress points can also lead to Freon leaks which will be located near the units service valves.

    Identifying a leak can be quite easy if a homeowner knows what to look for such as:
    • The AC unit running at a specific temperature but not blowing any cool air.
    • The home is taking too long to cool.
    • Accumulated water near the furnace due to condensation.
    • The build-up of ice on copper lines from the AC unit to its outside coil.
    • An extremely high electric bill is also a very big indicator of a Freon leak. An AC unit with a Freon leak means that the unit has to work much harder to keep things cool, thus raising your electric bill. A Freon leak with only 10% leakage can raise the electric bill usage by double that amount.

    Small problems with Freon leaks can be attended to and fixed quite quickly once they’re identified and certified technicians are alerted not too long after they’re discovered. If problems aren’t handled and conditions are allowed to worsen, the repairs will take more time and money to take care of.

  • The Importance of Proper In-Door Air Quality

    In-Door Air Quality

    People are exposed to pollutants in the environment by the air that they breathe indoors. These pollutants can come from anywhere – daily use products, materials and activities. As compared to outdoor air, the air indoors is said to be more polluted by about 2 – 5 times. In schools and offices situated in polluted areas, this could even be as much as 100 times. The importance of proper in-door air quality cannot be underestimated because it can lead to sickness, allergies and an uncomfortable environment.

    The following are some important points about proper in-door air quality:

    • Health Problems Can Be Avoided – Various health issues occur because of poor air quality indoors. This can lead to irritation and dryness in skin, throat, eyes and nose. Headache, fatigue, allergies and hypersensitivity are also common symptoms. Other symptoms include nausea, dizziness, sneezing, coughing, sinus congestion and fatigue. All these problems can be avoided by simply maintaining air quality indoors.

    • Air Contaminants Can Be Cleaned – The indoor air has many contaminants like carbon dioxide, asbestos, fiberglass, dust, VOCs, toxic vapors, odors, gases, dust mites, bacteria, fungi and other microbial contaminants, and ozone. These air contaminants might occur in small quantities but for children and people with a weak immune system, they can cause a lot of problems in a short exposure time.

    • Serious Conditions Can Be Avoided – Sick Building Syndrome or Tight Building Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Building Related Illnesses are a common result of poor indoor air quality. These are serious health conditions which come with clinical symptoms. For example, Legionnaire’s disease is a BRI that is caused due to the bacteria that clogs ACs in a building.

    • Avoidance of Mold Growth – Every homeowner knows how, once mold starts growing in your house, you have to go through a proper cleaning and decontamination process to get rid of it. Mold is attracted to areas that have a lot of moisture, and this’s why the pipes and ducts of ACs and ventilation systems need to be cleaned regularly. Avoiding mold growth can make the entire family healthy.

    The best way to keep in-door air clean is to get air filtration systems which include:
    • Humidifiers
    • Dehumidifiers
    • Germicidal lights
    • Ventilation systems
    • Filtration systems
    • Air purification systems

    These systems are installed at the appropriate place and their job’s to keep the indoor air clean and germ free, replace stale and contaminated air with fresh air, and improve circulation of clean air. It’s important to look for air filtration systems that are up to code and certified. There are various great systems in the market and the situation of indoor pollution should be properly examined before buying an air filtration system.

  • How Do Electric Mini Split Systems Work?

    Mini Split Systems

    Electric heating and cooling systems are referred to in different ways, including multi-split, mini-split (ductless), and split-zoning. Unlike the traditional central air conditioner, these units are created with split designs and without a complex system of ducts.

    The mini-splits control temperature individually by using a singular indoor air-handler to be controllable by each independent room. It provides individual room comfort that is controllable to that particular room or space. It's described as a split system because it consists of indoor equipment and outdoor equipment which is connected by a pipe known as a line set. Split system air conditioners come in two main forms; mini-split and central systems. The mini-split is an attractive option as opposed to a window or a through-the-wall unit. These type of systems are used to condition a specific space. Configurations differ, allowing from one to eight indoor units per unit outdoors. With a central air conditioning, the heat-exchanger inside is normally placed within the furnace/air handler unit of forced air heating system. It is then utilized in the summer months to allocate refrigerated air all through a space, room or building. These are commonly larger and placed in a cellar or upper floor attic.
    Considered excellent for regulating the temperatures within a single room, the mini split systems supply control with the attached indoor component, resulting in elevated SEER levels. The footprint enables you to mount it in additional locations for less obtrusive installations. The electric split system offers inverters in multi-split system air conditioners. The feature is a ground-breaking design that allows up to eight indoor units to be connected to a solitary outdoor unit.

    Typical duct-work in most homes loses 20-40% of heating and cooling generated due to leakage or conduction. Using ductless technology like the mini split system, indoor units can be installed in any room, or multiple rooms. This provides a perfect solution to heating or cooling exactly where it may be needed and when it is needed.

    These mini split systems provide energy efficient, silent and environmentally friendly solutions for comfort. They are radically more efficient than conventional central air systems. They use inverter-driven compressors. The mini split systems also automatically regulate to altering conditions to distribute ideal comfort only utilizing the energy that needed. You can condition the rooms you are in while other rooms turn off or will setback. Zoning your home allows you to save power while maximizing your individual comfort.

  • 3 Major Systems of the Home That Take Up the Most Energy

    Home Energy

    If you’re a homeowner or live in any type of housing complex, you know the feeling of receiving your utility bills each month and feeling your stomach drop at the numbers. Whether you want to lower your home expenses, be more environmentally conscious, or both, having knowledge of which systems of your home are consuming the most energy and how to reduce their consumption will be instrumental.

    Heating
    It’s tempting to turn the heating as far up as it can go when winter rolls around each year. However, this convenient household system is responsible for the largest percentage of the energy consumed by most houses. This is especially true for those who live in colder regions or who have particularly cold winters. Fortunately, it is easy to reduce the amount of energy used by your heater: Simply reduce the heat setting on your thermostat. Doing this might warrant donning a few more layers inside the home, but it is much easier to put on more layers or even use alternative sources of heat like a fireplace than it is to remove layers of clothing when the temperature gets swelteringly hot. Speaking of which, this brings us to a perfect segue into the next household appliance that is vacuuming the money from your wallet.

    Air Conditioning
    Unfortunately, one of the things we rely on the most to keep us cool during the warm months is also adding more and more digits to our electricity bills and consuming masses of energy. With 87 percent of U.S. households equipped with air conditioning systems as reported in 2009, it is easy to see why such a large portion of energy is spent on this luxury. The solution to minimizing this consumption, however, follows the same principle as the heating system: Adjust the thermostat. Opt for methods of cooling that don't utilize electricity in any way, such as ice buckets, cold drinks, and staying closing the shutters to keep sunlight from warming up your home. Ideally, utilize a combination of both natural methods and a low setting on your air conditioning to reach a comfortable temperature without your electricity bills going through the roof.

    Water Heater
    There's nothing better than the feeling of taking a hot shower after a long day. But sadly, yes, your water heater is responsible for a big portion of your home's energy consumption. In fact, it takes up about 18 percent of your utility bill on average. To combat this, you can do things as simple as taking shorter showers and turning the temperature of your water down a little bit. But if you want to implement a longer-lasting solution consider installing an on-demand water heater. This way, you can control when your water heater is on or off, thus saving you money and conserving energy.

  • How Do Packaged Heat Pumps Provide Efficient Electric Heating and Cooling?

    Heating

    Packed heat pumps are used to either cool a house during the hot summer seasons, or heat it up when the weather gets cold. They are designed to operate efficiently in any climate, making them wonderful additions to any home. While they do take a little bit of effort to install since they require a duct system for the home, this is easy done by a professional at little to no charge when purchasing one of these systems.
    How Are They Efficient?
    Packaged heat pumps use coils to transfer heat from the outdoors to the inside of your home. This makes them most effective in mild temperatures. When it's mildly warm, they can effectively pull heat from the air and coil transfer it into the home to heat it up. This transfer is done through liquid refrigerant that is placed within the system's coils, which then can absorb heat from the outdoors, even when there is very little, and turn it into a gas. As the gas is turned back into a liquid, the indoor coil absorbs it and releases this heat into the home.

    This whole process uses heat that is already there instead of creating it like most systems. This means that it will use a lot less energy than most other heating systems, making packaged heat pumps a viable option over other methods.
    Packaged Heat Pump Tips for Maximum Efficiency
    - When using a packaged heat pump along with an electric furnace, place the heat pump on the colder side of it, usually upstream. This will give it better efficiency.
    - Sometimes, these systems can be pretty noisy. Try to find a system that has a sound rating of 7.6 or below, unless you're able to place your packaged heat pump further from the home than normal. Place the pump on a noise absorption plate could also help reduce the sound it makes.
    - Keep your system out of the wind. This can cause frosting problems in the Winter, and can also make it less effective at absorbing heat or cold from the outside. The location of your system is very important.
    - Get a pump with defrost control. This will help reduce energy costs in colder seasons.
    Conclusion
    Packaged heat pumps are an effective solution for heating or cooling your home. With a little bit of work, you can easily save thousands on your energy bill each year! Just make sure that you pick a quiet system with effective controls. Also, look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure that you are saving the most energy for the price.

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