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  • Choosing Between Air Conditioners with Single Stage and Two Stage Compressors

    When considering air conditioner options, the question of whether to choose a unit with a single stage or two stage compressor inevitably arises. The answer depends on a wide range of factors. In order to figure out which one works best for you, it can be helpful to have an idea of how each one works and what might make you want to choose one over the other.

    The Mechanics of Single Stage and Two Stage Compressors

    Fundamentally, the difference between single stage and two stage air compressors is the process by which the air is compressed within the air conditioning unit in order to generate the power needed for operation. In a single stage air compressor, the air is drawn into the cylinder and compressed to about 120 psi in a single piston stroke. From there, it is transferred to a storage chamber. In contrast, there is an extra step in this process for two stage compressors. After the initial compression in the first cylinder, the air is moved to a second, slightly smaller cylinder where there is another piston stroke, this one at about 175 psi. Only then is the air transferred to the storage tank, where it is ready to be used to power the air conditioning unit.

    What Does That Mean for the Air Conditioning Unit?

    Operationally, this means that a single stage air conditioner only works at one level. Any time the temperature in your building exceeds the temperature at which you set your thermostat, the air conditioner automatically runs until the set temperature has been reached. Then, it turns off until the temperature rises again.

    But with a two stage air compressor, the air conditioner can work at two speeds. When temperatures start to rise, the air conditioner runs on low speed, maintaining a mild environment. Only when conditions really start to heat up does the high level of operation kick in.

    Evaluating the Benefits and Drawbacks of Air Conditioners with Single Stage and Two Stage Air Compressors

    When making the final decision between an air conditioner with a single stage compressor and one with a two stage compressor, there are a few key factors to consider, including:

    • Efficiency. Because they can run at two different levels, air conditioners with two stage compressors operate more efficiently than single stage compressors, especially when temperatures are warm, but not blazing.
    • Upfront cost. Although choosing an air conditioner with a two stage compressor may be able to save you money in the long run by working more efficiently, upfront costs for air conditioning units with single stage compressors are typically lower.
    • Maintenance and repair. Two stage air compressors have a longer lifespan than single stage compressors, so they need to be replaced less frequently. At the same time, it is easier to conduct routine maintenance on single stage compressors, and they are less expensive to replace.

    Ultimately, the decision to choose an air conditioner with a single stage compressor or a two stage compressor depends on the needs of your building, as well as your personal preferences and budgetary constraints. Both are great options for different users.

  • When do I upgrade my HVAC system?

    Air conditioner Unit Repair Air conditioner Unit Repair

    One of the most common questions asked about HVAC systems is, if my old system is running poorly, can I repair it cheaply? Or do I need to purchase a new system? Like most things in life, the answer isn’t simple: it depends on the age of the system, how well it has been maintained, and your current usage of it. In this article, I will go over a few of the things that you need to look at when deciding how to make your system more functional.
    First, consider the age of your system. It is important to examine not just how long you have used it, but how old the model is. Older models will usually be much less efficient, and can end up costing you more in the long run. So even if it seems to be somewhat fixable, if it is a very old system, it might be worth it to simply buy a newer model. You will save on energy, and have what is usually a quieter, more reliable system. A well-maintained HVAC system can last for 15 years or so, but generally if it is more than ten years old, it is time to think about a replacement.
    Second, look at the cost of a repair. Unfortunately, the cost to repair a system can sometimes cost near the price of a new unit. If you are facing a very expensive repair, then it might be a lot better to simply buy a new unit. This will be especially true if the unit is in poor condition, and will likely need more repairs in the future. Thankfully, lower end units can be purchased somewhat inexpensively if money is a major issue.
    Another important factor to keep in mind, is the energy efficiency of your old machine. Many older HVAC units have chemicals that are bad for the environment, in addition to being energy hogs. Check the SEER rating of your unit. A poor rating could definitely indicate that your unit is taking a lot more energy than would be needed by a newer unit.
    So, when weighing the cost of a repair with the cost of a new unit, make sure to keep these guidelines in mind. Often investing the money for a new system will save you money in the long run, and if you keep it well maintained, it will last you for a long time.

  • Why is my HVAC System Running so Poorly?

    HVAC 3The reason your HVAC system may not be working could be a number of things. Always make sure to take the necessary steps to keep your system running properly. Here are some common reasons and steps you can take to make sure your HVAC system runs properly always

    Uneven heating and cooling is a common problem with heating and air conditioning systems. Some rooms are nice and warm in the winter, others are chilly. Some rooms get comfortably cool in the summer, others are stuffy. Air flow has a lot to do with this problem. Dirty filters, closed vents, and ductwork issues can impede air flow, causing uneven heating and cooling. Home insulation is also a factor. Make sure to check or replace filters and make sure all the vents are clean and open.
    If you see enough dirt and debris on the air filter to fill a moon crater, you need to replace it. Or clean it if it is the washable kind. Filters should be replaced about once a month, depending on the system you have. If you don’t you’re making your system work harder than necessary. Also, check the heat exchanger and coils for any dirt.

    If there is water coming from the indoor unit of your HVAC system, you need to correct it as soon as possible to avoid water damage to your home. Water around the indoor unit means your system is leaking, not draining properly, or making excess condensation. Condensation can form on the evaporator coil and suction line if they are not properly insulated. If the necessary insulation is missing or leaving part of the coil or line exposed, more condensation collects on it, which can drip onto the floor. In some situations the coil may ice up, and when the ice melts it will leave a puddle on the floor. If the condensation drain is blocked it can cause pooled water. In the worst case, your system could be leaking refrigerant. Both air conditioners and furnaces can leak water.

    Another way you can track your HVAC systems issues it with your utility bill. Utility rates adjust often. If rates have remained steady while your bill has increased, you may have an issue that needs to be addressed. For AC systems, the federal government increased minimum efficiency ratings in 2006. If your system is older than that, it may be another reason for your higher energy bills.

    There are other things that can cause your HVAC system to run poorly. These are some of the most common and taking he steps provided will help you along the way.

  • How Ordering Online Can Save You Money

    How Ordering Online Can Save You Money
    Whether you just need one replacement piece in your HVAC system, or are going to do a whole building overhaul, ordering what you need online can save you a considerable amount of money, time, and headache. These are some of the biggest benefits to ordering online, and ill share a few quick explanations for why they happen.
    Shopping online allows you to quickly compare search by keywords to find out which product you need. You won’t have to have a long conversation with someone whose only goal is to upsell you or get you something that you don’t need. Additionally, the cost of employing salespeople and having a showroom floor means that the overhead for brick and mortar stores is much higher than their online counterparts. These savings mean that you can save hundreds of dollars by quickly and easily determining what it is you need and buying it for yourself. If an installation is fairly easy and can be done without extensive training, why pay extra? Just get the experience of doing it yourself, and save yourself a lot of money in the long run and the short run.
    You also save yourself time and energy. Ordering from the comfort of your own home allows you to fit your repairs into your schedule. You don’t need to take several hours and make a trip where you will need to keep focused and deal with salespeople. Just wait till you have a moment at the end of your day, on your lunch break, or whenever you want to get it done. You won’t have to worry about finding a way to transport it either, since many services offer free home delivery. This can save you the headache of loading it into your truck, or even having to borrow or rent a truck to get it back to your house. It makes a lot of sense to avoid that hassle. After some quick installation, your HVAC system will be up and running, keeping you comfortable and healthy year-round.
    These savings will be especially applicable if buying in bulk. If you need a lot of systems installed. Finding someone to install them will be easy, but you can save a lot of money by ordering all of your systems online. The savings will go straight into your pocket. Getting one large shipment delivered at once will also beat trying to scrounge around and make multiple orders.

  • Keeping the Air Clean in Winter

    When it gets cold outside we often like to stay in and close all the doors and winders. You home is built to be as energy efficient as possible by holding in heat during the winter months when temperatures can drop below zero. Keeping all the windows closed all winter long may prove to be detrimental to your home. Sealing yourself in without any sort of fresh air circulation is not good for you or your family. Fresh air is needed in your home so it is important to keep your air clean during the winter months.

     

    When the summer leaves and fall passes winter comes knocking. All the things left over from fall and summer is still in your home so it is important to do some seasonal cleaning. This is to get any seasonal allergens left over out of your home so they do not get sealed inside. Pollen that is left over should be cleaned form the home so as not to pollute the air.

     

    Pets also build up dander in the home. This is sometimes not noticed but should be cleaned regularly. Pets spend more time inside the more we spend time inside. Their dander will build much a lot more inside the home and without proper air filtration can cause discomfort.

     

    It is advised that you keep air circulating regulating even in winter time. It may be nice to always have you house at the optimal temperature but letting some new air in every now and then is good for you and home. It prevents the buildup of these air pollutants mentioned before.

     

    Another thing you can do to help keep the air quality in your home during the winter is to have you HVAC system cleaned or inspected. Do regular winter maintenance if you need to. This will keep the air in your house clean and circulating. It will also help you spend less money constantly letting hot air out of your house. While proper air circulation is recommended, having a clean and function HVAC system will lessen the burden on opening the windows.

    As you can see proper air maintenance during the cold winter months is important. You want to stay warm but staying healthy is just as important. Make sure your HVAC is ready for the cold weather so you that you can be ready and save money at the same time.

     

     

  • Keep Your Ducts Clean!

    Keeping everything in your home clean is important but some things need more care than others. Making sure to have your air ducts and other heating and cooling appliances inspected periodically is important. Making sure your duct system is clean will insure you and your family live happy and healthy. It is also good for your finances. Dirty ducts can lead to full HVAC replacement if not cared for properly.  Dirt and other nasty things can build up in your duct system. This causes the whole system to run less efficiently and can cost you more money. Dirty air reduces the quality of air in your house which is not comfortable or healthy for your family or office.

     

    When dust is in the air duct it will start circulating in your house. Dust builds up form pet hair, dead skin and other things. Having this in your ventilation is not good for people with asthma or allergies. Do not torture your family with dust have your ducts cleaned.

     

    Mold can also build in the ducts if moisture is allowed to get in unchecked. This is very detrimental as mold can cause a number of health problems. Headaches, nausea and neurological damage can come from mold spore inhalation. Breathing too much of it can have lasting effects on the body.

     

    Fiberglass and asbestos are also common things that build up in your ducts if they are not kept up properly. Fiberglass may find its way in if it becomes damaged and seeps into the duct. This can cause eye irritation and itching of the skin. Too much of this and it can have detrimental health deficits. Inspecting your wall as well as your air duct is a way to get ahead of this. Asbestos can also live in the duct if not checked. This is not as common but very series and should not be left un-handled.

     

    It is clear that you should keep your ducts clean. It will save you time and money. In addition it will keep you and your family or coworkers safe. Especially in an office setting regular inspections are required. Homes need regular inspections as well to make sure you and your families are happy and healthy.

  • Misconceptions About Your HVAC System

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

  • Benefits of Switching to a Programable Thermostat

    As many sitcoms have pointed out, Dad is always in charge of the thermostat. No one touches it without Dad’s consent. Dad always has to turn it up and down and keep at the temperature he likes. In this day and age with modern technology we do not have to rely on Dad to control the thermostat. Programmable thermostats offer a new comfort and benefit to your home. Many people are making the switch to a programmable thermostat as it is easy to install and gives you control over your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit. Here are some of the benefits of using a programmable thermostat.

     

    One great thing about programmable thermostats is that you can keep your house at a constant temperature. You will not have to constantly adjust the temperature of your home throughout the day with a manual thermostat. The sun moves around your home and depending on the windows it will heat your house. Having a programmable thermostats means you do not have to blast your air conditioner all day long to combat the heat. You can set it to the temperature you want and not have to worry even if you leave the house. In the winter time the temperature can fluctuate a lot. Being able to schedule the temperature of your house depending on the weather is great for your comfort and for optimizing the use of your HVAC system. Having the schedule for your thermostat saves your HVAC system from being over used. If it is running efficiently throughout the day and not just blasting to keep up with heat or cold, the appliance will last longer and work better.

     

    Probably the most commonly valued benefit of having a programmable thermostat is that it saves you money. Energy bills continue to fluctuate all over the nation and instead of trying to keep up with the energy costs you can program your air usage to optimize your financial savings. When you leave the home if you do not want to waste money keeping the temperature up you can schedule the thermostat to turn on before you get home or to hold the temperature constant while you are gone. You can program a schedule that follows your whole family’s routine based on their day-to-day activities. If you have pets, you want them to be comfortable while you are away as well and having the scheduled air usage can help you with that.

     

    Overall having a programmable thermostat is optimal for your home and easy to install.

  • When to Call in the Calvary: Should You Install Your Own HVAC or Phone the Experts?

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    Installing an HVAC system on your own or with a partner may seem like the most optimal decision for you, however there are some things you must consider before attempting this task on your own. Not meeting certain requirements in the process can have legal and safety complications.

    Codes

    Heating and cooling hardware require certain codes and regulations to be satisfied when they are installed. The professionals know these codes and will do their best not to violate any of them. If you decide to do this yourself please make sure you adhere to any and all heating and cooling regulations. Failure to do so can result in improper use of the system which can cause legal ramifications especially for businesses using these systems. Small business owners should absolutely consider getting a professional to install for them to avoid business being shut down for code violations.

    Cost

    Installing a unit yourself may be more trouble than it is worth. You will need to track down a unit you want and at a price you are satisfied with. Professional installers can order directly from manufacturers usually for a break on the price you may not get. On top of the cost of buying the equipment you also have financial loss from the time it takes to complete. If you have a rigorous work schedule you will need to take time off as projects like this can last days for an inexperienced installer. This time off work also costs money and the cost may not outweigh the price of hiring a professional to do the work for you. Your hard work and time can be spent on another home project while the pros handle your heating and cooling.

    Technical Issues

    The installation process for a HVAC system is very technical. Experts go through rigorous training to make sure no mistake is made. They often go to school to learn the trade so that they do the job safely, efficiently and without invoking legal ramifications. Improper installation can lead to leaks in your system that could end up threatening your safety, not to mention the cost of paying for air you are not even getting!      

    Conclusion

    After reviewing this information it is likely that hiring a professional installer is your best bet. It is not worth the safety and legal ramifications that you could unintentionally pull down upon yourself. Bigger mistakes may even end up costing you more than you saved from doing it yourself.

  • Lower your Heating Bill with some Improvements

    Winter is coming!! Fall is already here. If you are noticing that your house doesn't hold the heat in very well, here are a few tips for you.

    Inspect and Replace your Weatherstripping

    "What's that?" you say? Well, it's the seal on all of your outside doors that prevents cold air from seeping through the cracks around your door. Over time, this stuff gets worn out, and leaks air into your home. This will cool down your house in a hurry and make your heater work overtime.

    Check and adjust your Threshold

    This is the same principle. If you can see daylight under your door, that means there is cold air coming in and hot air going out. You may need to buy a new threshold, but usually the one you have can be adjusted with the screws that old it to the floor. Simply turn them to raise the threshold slightly and close the gap.

    Find the Holes in your Exterior Walls

    Why are there holes in your walls? Well, every pipe or electrical wire that goes into your home needs a hole, and it's entirely possible that one or more of those is not insulated correctly. You can plug these gaps with expanding foam to prevent the flow of air. As a bonus, this will prevent insects and mice from getting into your walls!

    Seal your Flue

    If you have a fireplace, your chimney is very likely to be leaking heat. Even with the flue closed, it will be leaking air. To solve this problem you can get a chimney balloon, or get creative and rig something up. This is a major source of heat loss, so it will pay for itself.

    Check your Ductwork

    Homes with forced air heating can lose a significant amount of heat through leaky ductwork. Sometimes you will lose a quarter of the warm air being pushed through in useless places like the attic. Inspect it wherever you can, especially around joints, and seal it up with metallic duct tape.

    Check the Locks on your Windows

    The locks on your windows are designed to push the window into the weatherstripping and create an airtight seal. If you forgot to lock one of your windows, it will be leaking air, and costing you money.

    Upgrade your Windows

    Shy of actual leaks, the windows are the most poorly insulated part of your exterior, and will allow the most heat to escape. If you have single pane windows, you will be losing a tremendous amount of heat through them. Single pane windows conduct heat out of your house very effectively and essentially do not insulate your house at all. Double pane windows work to insulate not because there is more glass, which does not insulate effectively at all, but because there is a layer of air between the panes of glass that does not effectively conduct heat out of your home, and thus prevents heat loss.

    Upgrade to a modern double pane and you will see a significant effect.

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