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  • Ways to Go Green

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    Just a few years ago, the term “green living” would have brought up visions of treehouse hippies gardening in the nude. But not anymore. Society seems to have finally accepted that we are responsible for the state of our planet and that it’s the only one we will ever have.

    If you’re looking for ways to give back to Mother Nature, keep reading for environmentally friendly changes you can make to your home and lifestyle without sacrificing your quality of life.

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    Buying green

    If you’ve yet to make your home purchase, you’ll have more options than ever when it comes to buying a green home. The Huffington Post explains that your first priority is to determine the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling system, which is what accounts for the vast majority of your energy consumption. If you’re looking for a home with solar power, discuss with the builder what types of materials have been used in each panel’s construction.

    Many utilize heavy metals, which are soldered with a lead-based solution. These can’t be recycled, and if damaged or at the end of their life cycle, may do more harm to the environment than good. Alternate forms of renewable energy include wind power and hydroelectricity. Unfortunately, these technologies remain expensive for the standard consumer. A geothermal heat pump, according to Money Talks News at CBS, utilizes geothermal heat and can help keep your home cool and comfortable without severely impacting your local environment.

    One of the most important features of an environmentally sustainable home is its location in proximity to community amenities and services you’ll use. If you are truly interested in lowering your carbon footprint, consider buying a home in a walkable location. By walking or biking to and from the grocery store, park, school and work, you will not only save money, but you’ll have zero negative effect on the atmosphere. As an added bonus, these activities are great for your cardiovascular health and may help you maintain a healthy weight.

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    Daily changes

    When you already own your home, there are still numerous upgrades you can make, including installing energy-efficient appliances and windows that keep the outside elements where they belong. These, however, may be cost prohibitive for the environmentally aware homeowner on a budget. Redfin asserts that there are many other home improvements that that won’t break the bank – many, in fact, are free – that you can implement yourself without bringing in an expensive contractor. These include sprucing up your landscape with native plants and performing preventative maintenance on your hot water heater each year. Even simple things such as enrolling in paperless billing, switching your halogen light bulbs to LED or CFL lights, fixing leaky faucets and using a rain barrel to collect water for irrigation can have a big impact.

    Your home’s insulation can also lower your utility bills and therefore your environmental footprint. Even if you upgrade to an energy-efficient HVAC system and keep it set to 68 degrees in the winter and 72 degrees in the summer, it will still work double time if your home can’t maintain its temperature. EnergyStar.gov explains that home improvements made to a typical home might include sealing air leaks and insulating to meet 2012 International Energy Conservation Code installation requirements.

    The chemicals you use to clean your home every day can also burden the environment. LiveScience explains that certain chemicals, such as VOCs, are used to enhance these products, but can actually cause impaired neurological functions. When inhaled, these and other chemicals can affect the respiratory system.

    While green cleaners, which are commonly touted as top-shelf products at your local grocery store, are an environmentally friendly option, they are not without their downfalls. They can be expensive and may require more work in the form of additional scrubbing to remove heavy stains. Many also don’t kill germs. A viable alternative for most household surfaces is to use a mixture of vinegar and citric acid, which will clean, disinfect and help reduce mold spore growth.

    You can avoid tracking many potentially harmful germs and bacteria into your home, which will eliminate the need for harsh cleaners, by leaving your shoes at the door and washing your hands as soon as you arrive home.

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    Garden glee

    There are numerous environmental impacts of growing your own food, and they are all good, assuming you avoid harmful pesticides and insecticides. While you have access to a vast array of fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, these items have likely traveled hundreds to thousands of miles via train, plane and truck to get to your local store shelf. Local produce, either sourced from the farmers market or grown in your own backyard, eliminates much of the emissions associated with food growth. As an added benefits, adding plants to your property where there previously were none will further help offset your carbon footprint by absorbing CO2 in the air.

    Eco Friendly Heat Pumps

    More ways to go green

    • Create a homemade compost bin
    • Shop with reusable grocery bags or make your own out of repurposed T-shirts
    • Avoid bottled water
    • Use cold water for doing laundry
    • Turn off the lights and water when you leave a room
    • Better yet, avoid flipping the light switch up and utilize natural light
    • If you must drive, go the speed limit and reduce your trips to as few as possible
    • Shutdown electronics when not in use – sleep mode is still uses energy
    • Contact your local energy company see if you qualify for green power incentives
    • Opt out of unnecessary mailings, such as credit card offers
    • Reuse office papers by allowing your children to draw on the back before recycling
    • Switch to digital subscriptions for your magazines and periodicals
    • Organize a community swapping event
    • When you dine out, eat at local restaurants that source their food locally
    • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees or less
    • Unplug phone and computer chargers when not in use
    • Craft using recycled materials
    • If you have a baby, switch to cloth diapers, which can prevent thousands of pounds of added landfill mass over the course of three years

    As you can see, there are a myriad of ways to go green whether you’re buying, renovating or simply trying to be more aware of the environment. Even implementing a few of these changes will have a positive impact today and for future generations.

  • Sustainable, Smart, and Cost Efficient? Here’s Your Guide to Smart Home Technology

     

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    Sustainable, Smart, and Cost Efficient? Here’s Your Guide to Smart Home Technology

    Utilities can be taxing on both the environment and your wallet. Sometimes we even waste utilities when we don’t need to, which usually comes as quite a shock when the bill comes in. We scratch our heads and think, “wow, there’s no way I used 897 kilowatt-hours of electricity this month.” (The average U.S. household uses that much each month and 10,766 kWh per year.)

    Fortunately, there are several in-home tech products that will save you money on your utility bills and help the environment at the same time.

    How Much Electricity Do You Use Around the House?

     

    Each month, your utility bill is calculated based on how many kilowatt-hours are consumed.

    So just how far does one kilowatt-hour go?

    A kilowatt-hour, which is a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for one hour, could power ten incandescent 100-watt lightbulbs for an hour. One kwh costs about $0.12 (so leaving the lights on, despite what your mother said about turning them off to save money, isn’t as expensive as it seems). Check out this table, which lists common household appliances and how much energy they use in an average month:

    Appliance average kWh used each month and average cost

     Appliance  Appliance Average kWh used each month Average cost each month
    Smartphone .08 kWh $0.01
    Tablet .9 kWh $0.11
    One LED Lightbulb 1.2 kWh $0.14
    Big-screen TV 2.5 kWh $0.30
    Wireless modem and router 7.5 kWh $0.90
    Gaming System 8.3 kWh $1.00
    One 60-watt Incandescent Lightbulb 18.3 kWh $2.20
    Desktop Computer 25.0 kWh $3.00
    Refrigerator 29.1 kWh $3.50
    Washer and Dryer 69.44 kWh $8.33
    Water Heater 416.7 kWh $50.00
    Heating and cooling 640.5 kWh $76.86

     

    So does that mean you have to put on a sweater or take a cold shower? Not necessarily. If you know what you’re doing, you can save hundreds of kWh each month by utilizing the latest in-home technology.

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    Heating and Cooling

    • Smart Thermostat: One of the most common smart home additions, smart thermostats are arguably the best way to save the most money. As most of your utility bills are heating and cooling, installing and using a smart thermostat can have a huge impact on your bills. Additionally, most are compatible with smart home assistants like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or other automated assistants. Smart thermostats work by keeping temperature settings consistent. Some have sensors to keep tabs on hot and cold spots in your house, and you can program them to adjust temperatures in your home while you’re gone at work, on vacation, or sleeping, so you’re not wasting energy on climate control you don’t need.
    • Motorized Shades: Another great way to money, motorized shades are often overlooked in the heating and cooling department. These shades allow you to set specific times when they should open or close. Almost all the settings can be done from an app and will work whether you’re home or not. Some of the even smarter ones can auto adjust to the temperature outside to maximize your savings. You will end up saving money by keeping the sun out when it’s hot in the day or choosing to let the light warm up your space. You can also opt for honeycomb shades, which are designed especially for insulation, but any shade or drape with the right spacing will help slash your heating costs.

    Average Savings: Between $131 and $145 per year

     

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    Light Use

    • Smart Lights: Smart lights, like Philips Hue and LIFX, can save you cash through programming, motion detection and remote access to your lights when you’re away from home (for security during vacation purposes), but that’s not all there is to it. Smart lights are LEDs, which cost significantly less to operate than traditional incandescent bulbs.

    Average Savings: Between $80 and $120 per year

    Games, TVs and Other Appliances

    • Surge Protectors: Certain small appliances such as video game consoles are known as drain devices. This means that even when someone isn’t using it, the device is still using energy. This is where conservation based surge protectors like the Belkin Conserve Switch Surge Protector come in! These surge protectors allow you switch things off with a remote, which prevents drain devices from wasting energy. Other types, like ThinkEco, cut down consumption when your plugged-in devices are in standby mode.

    Average Savings: Between $60 and $80 per year

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    Laundry

    • Energy-efficient washers:Though there aren’t smart washers per se, energy-efficient washers are a smart way to save. Certified ENERGY STAR products can help you save on both electricity and water, so you get even more bang for your buck when you pay your utility bill water bill. Typically, an ENERGY STAR washing machine uses 25 percent less electricity than its non-eco-friendly counterparts do. Another tip to save money while washing clothes is to waste them with warm (not hot) or cold water.

    Average Savings: Between $75 and $125 per year

     

    How Much Water Does Your Household Use?

    While estimates vary based on location, the average U.S. household uses about 90 gallons of water every day. Unfortunately, most of that water is wasted through toilet flushing and showers. Dishwashers, washing machines and outdoor watering also waste a large amount of water. We’ve created a chart that shows how much water common household items use and how much it costs.

     Appliance Average Gallons Used Each Time Average Cost Per Use
    Bath 36 gallons $0.14
    Shower (10 Minutes) with ordinary shower head 50 gallons $0.20
    Shower (10 Minutes) with water-saving showerhead 20 gallons $0.08
    Dishwasher (non-ENERGY STAR) 16 gallons $0.06
    Dishwasher (ENERGY STAR) 6 gallons $0.02
    Toilet Flush (Regular) 3 gallons $0.01
    Toilet Flush (low-flow) 1.6 gallons Less than $.01
    Outdoor watering (30 minutes) 60 gallons $0.24

     

    Other than cutting down on water consumption by investing in ENERGY STAR appliances, doing fewer loads of laundry and taking shorter showers, there are a few devices you can add to your home to drastically reduce your water consumption.

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    Showers and Faucets

    • High-efficiency faucet aerator: Aerators are a great way to save money on water. They work by adding air to your water. This means you can keep your water pressure while cutting your water usage in half!
    • Smart home water meter: While they don’t give you direct savings, smart home water meters can be a great investment. By showing you how much water you use and where it goes, you can adjust your water usage in certain areas and save money.

    Average Savings: About $100 per year

     

    Toilets

    • Smart toilets:Smart toilets are beneficial in two ways: they save water and they can help eliminate toilet paper waste. The EPA states that toilets labeled with WaterSense labels can reduce water usage by 20-60% and save around 13,000 gallons of water per year.

    Average Savings: About $100 per year

    Smart Home Security

    • Smart Home Security System: A smart home security system is another way to save money, albeit indirectly. While the products themselves don’t save you money, having them can help decrease your insurance bill. Think of it like having airbags in the car – your insurer knows that you’re taking measures to mitigate risk, which means your rates are likely to go down. The latest-and-greatest security systems monitor your home’s electricity and wiring, and record activity that goes on inside and outside your house. Sometimes you can even get a claims-free credit, which offers you a discount if you haven’t made a claim in the past.

    Average Savings: Up to 20% of your normal bill

     

    Original article from Redfin

     

  • Why Wi-Fi Thermostats Are a Great Option for Independent Seniors

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    As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, there is a higher demand for innovative technologies that empower senior citizens to live independently. One such technology is the wi-fi thermostat. Maintaining a comfortable indoor environment is essential for a healthy lifestyle, and wi-fi thermostats can make it easy for a senior to keep their home at an optimal temperature. Consider the following features of the latest wi-fi thermostats and how they can support the lifestyles of seniors who live independently:

     

    • Accessible from a mobile device. Perhaps the most important feature of today’s wi-fi thermostats is that they are accessible from a mobile device. Instead of having to walk over to the thermostat in order to change the temperature of the house, a senior can simply tap the screen of their phone or tablet. That’s ideal for seniors who have challenges with mobility, as well as those who are often out-and-about and want to make sure they arrive home to a comfortable environment.
    • Large, easy-to-read touch screens. Many of the latest wi-fi thermostats today have large, well-lit screens that are easy to read, even from a distance. That makes it easier for seniors to check the temperature and determine whether or not to change it. Plus, the majority of thermostat manufacturers have switched over to touch screens, which means that seniors no longer have to deal with tiny buttons.
    • Programmable and non-programmable options. With most of the wi-fi thermostats on the market today, users can choose between programmable and non-programmable options. As a result, a wi-fi thermostat can work for seniors with a variety of different lifestyles. For instance, seniors who have a specific schedule for when they will be out of the house can program the thermostat so they won’t forget to turn it off and waste energy (and money) on heating or cooling while they are away. At the same time, those who spend most of their time at home can choose a traditional manual setting that gives them full control of the environment at every moment.

     
    Whether you’re looking for technologies to support a parent or friend, or whether you’re a senior yourself, a wi-fi thermostat can really make a difference when it comes to the ease of heating and cooling your home. National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of wi-fi thermostats at affordable prices, and we offer free shipping, right to your home. Contact us today to learn more about our products!

  • Why More Home Builders Are Choosing Elastomeric Foam Tubing Insulation

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    Last week on the blog, we talked about the importance of choosing high quality copper refrigerant tubing insulation. Right now, one of the top choices for homeowners and home builders alike is insulation made from elastomeric foam. Elastomeric foam is an innovative material made of polymers that are simultaneously characterized by both viscosity and elasticity. Read on to learn why elastomeric foam tubing insulation is ideal for home builders.

    Easing the Installation Process

    For home builders, the installation process for foam tubing can sometimes be a challenge. However, the innate properties of elastomeric tubing make installation fast and easy. Here are a few reasons why most home builders prefer elastomeric foam over other types of foam insulation materials:

    • Elastomeric foam is a flexible material, which makes it a lot easier to install than insulation made from stiffer foam materials. If you’ve ever spent excessive time trying to force a foam tube over a line, only to have the stiff foam crack in your hand, you know why flexible foam is ideal.
    • At the same time, elastomeric foam is a tough material that is ready for on-site handling. As a home builder, you don’t want foam insulation that gets smashed upon the slightest contact with the tools in the back of your truck.
    • You don’t have to worry about adding a vapor retarder. Elastomeric foam tubing has a built-in vapor barrier, which means you can skip that step in the installation process.

    Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

    As a home builder, customer satisfaction is one of your top priorities. Therefore, choosing high quality foam tubing insulation when setting up an HVAC system for your project just makes sense. Elastomeric foam tubing insulation, which is used to protect the copper refrigerant lines that run between the condenser and the evaporator coil of an air conditioning system, provided three key benefits for building owners:

     

    • Preventing condensation that causes mold, which can be a major hassle for your customers to deal with.
    • Reducing energy loss, which can help keep your customers’ regular energy bills low.
    • Resisting ultraviolet radiation, which can ensure that your customers won’t have to deal with repairs or replacements for a long time.

     

    For home builders, the choice is simple. With elastomeric foam tubing, you get an easy installation process and a lot of happy customers. National Air Warehouse offers elastomeric pipe insulation with both 7/8” and 3/4” diameters, and we ship free to anywhere in the United States. Contact us today to learn more about our products!

  • Post-Summer Evaluation of Your Air Conditioner’s Performance

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    Now that summer is over and the weather is finally starting to cool off, it’s time to think back on your air conditioner’s performance over the last few months. One of the most important questions to ask is whether the cooling components in your AC system were sufficient to keep your house cool and comfortable all summer. If the answer is no, you may want to consider adding or replacing the cooling components in your system with a condenser with an evaporator coil.

    Understanding How a Condenser with an Evaporator Coil Can Improve Your AC System

    In an AC system, the condenser is responsible for releasing heat into the outdoor air. An evaporator coil picks up heat from the air inside your home or business, so choosing a condenser with an evaporator coil can increase the effectiveness and efficiency with which heat is removed from the building. As a result, adding or replacing a cooling component in your AC system with a condenser with evaporator coil can increase the system’s ability to keep your home or business cool during the hottest days of summer. This option is ideal for people who live in warmer climates and have AC systems that just aren’t meeting their cooling needs.

    Of course, with winter on the way, improving your AC system might not be at the forefront of your mind right now. But fall is actually an excellent time to consider adding to or replacing cooling components within your AC system. If you live in a warm climate, waiting until spring can be risky. By the time spring comes and you remember that you wanted to improve your AC system, you might end up having to endure days without air conditioning while the condenser with evaporator coil is being installed. It can be a lot easier do the job now, when the sub-standard summer performance of your air conditioner is still fresh in your mind, but you don’t have to worry that your home will get too warm for comfort during the installation process.

    Considering the Costs of a Condenser with Evaporator Coil

    When deciding whether to invest in a condenser with evaporator coil, cost can be a major consideration. For one of these options, one of the main cost determinants is the cooling capacity, which can range from 1.5 tons to 5 tons. If you are worried about the effects of a condenser with evaporator coil on your energy bill, you should also pay attention to the SEER rating. For condensers with evaporator coils, you can choose between 14 SEER and 16 SEER. A higher SEER rating is generally associated with a higher upfront cost, but choosing a 16 SEER-rated product may help you keep next summer’s energy bills lower.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of condenser with evaporator coil options. Contact us today to find the one that is right for you!

  • BTUs for Furnaces and Air Conditioners: Is There a Difference?

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    When you buy a new furnace or air conditioner, there are lots of parameters you need to consider. The AFUE and/or SEER rating or a system can help you find a system at your desired efficiency level, and the heating capacity gives you the information you need to ensure that the unit has what it takes to keep the temperature in your home or business at a comfortable level. Heating capacity is a measure  of the amount of hot or cold air that the unit can produce, and it is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU).

    If you’re a homeowner looking to replace both your furnace and air conditioner, or if you’re a homebuilder putting in systems for a new building, you might automatically assume that the BTU you need is the same for both the furnace and the air conditioner -- but that’s not always the case. The main factor that determines your heating capacity needs is the size of the building, but other factors can lead you to choose a system that is on either the high or low end of the appropriate BTU spectrum for your building size.

    BTU Ranges for Whole-Building HVAC Systems

    If you are looking for an air conditioner or furnace to meet the cooling needs of an entire home or business, your heating capacity options vary widely. At the low end, you can buy a furnace or air conditioner with a 40K or 50K BTU. However, based on size alone, the heating capacity needs of most homes and businesses fall between 60K BTU and 100K BTU. For unusually large buildings, furnaces or air conditioners with 120K to 150K BTU may be required.

    For every building size, there is a range of appropriate BTUs, which can be determined based on a variety of factors. Aside from size, some of the things that can cause your BTU needs to differ between your air conditioner and your furnace include the following:

     

    • Location. If you live in a location that is cold for most of the year, with summer temperatures topping out around 80, you can get away with  a lower BTU for your air conditioner than your furnace. Conversely, if you live in a warm location where the temperature never drops below freezing, the amount of heat to keep your house comfortable in the winter will be lower, so your furnace may not need as high a BTU as your air conditioner.
    • Size and location of windows. East- and south-facing windows are great for keeping a building warmer in the winter, which may lower the necessary BTU. At the same time, if the windows are large and hard to cover in the summer, you may need an air conditioner with a higher BTU to keep the building comfortable in the warmer months.
    • Personal preference. Regardless of the time of year, some people prefer a cool living environment, while others would rather stay warm and toasty. If you’re in the former group, it might make more sense to choose an air conditioner on the high end of the BTU spectrum for your building size and a furnace on the low end. If you’re in the latter category, the opposite strategy may be ideal for you.

     
    No matter what you’re looking for in an HVAC system, National Air Warehouse can help you find what you need. Contact us today for more information about our products!

  • Eliminating Mold with a Germicidal Ultraviolet Air Treatment Kit

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    Over the last few months, millions of Americans have been impacted by a series of devastating hurricanes. Across the South, homes and businesses have been left without power for days or even weeks. Flooding has also been common. As a result of the heavy rains and recent flood events, many building owners are now dealing with the presence of harmful mold. Read on to learn more about a cutting-edge technology that may help you solve the problem: a germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit.

    How Ultraviolet Light Destroys Mold and Other Microbes

    It’s been over a hundred years since scientist Niels Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering that ultraviolet light can effectively treat tuberculosis. In 1903, he earned the prize when he found that it was possible to kill the bacteria that cause tuberculosis by exposing them to ultraviolet light. Today, scientists know that ultraviolet light damages the DNA of microbes (such as bacteria and fungi), which disrupts cellular processes that are essential for life. Thus, ultraviolet light has been applied as a germicidal strategy in a wide range of industries -- including HVAC.

    Getting Rid of Mold In Your Home or Business

    Even if the flooding in your home was minimal, the slightest bit of mold exposure can lead to major problems. There are lots of myths going around about how to get rid of mold. Some of the myths you might have heard include the following:

    • MYTH: The mold will go away when the carpet dries out.
    • MYTH: You can get rid of mold by painting over it.
    • MYTH: Bleach is effective for destroying all types of mold.
    • MYTH: Mold is natural, so it’s nothing to worry about.

    In fact, even if the carpet dries out in a few days, mold can persist for weeks, months, or even years if it the situation is not addressed. And painting over it does NOTHING to fix the problem. While bleach does destroy some types of mold, there are certain species of fungi that are resistant, and it does not kill mold on porous surfaces. Moreover, bleach does nothing to address the problem of mold spores in the air. And finally, certain types of mold can cause serious health problems, so if your home or business has been exposed to mold as a result of the recent hurricanes, you should take action immediately.

    A germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit is an excellent solution. This technology can eliminate mold spores from the air in your home or business in less than a second. Even in rooms with a high concentration of mold spores, an ultraviolet air treatment kit is highly effective.
    If you’re looking to solve a mold problem after the recent hurricane -- or prevent one in the future -- National Air Warehouse offers a top quality ultraviolet air treatment kit at an affordable price. Contact us today for more information!

  • Choosing the Right Size Air Conditioner for Your House

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    When you are purchasing an air conditioner for your home, one of the most important choices you will make is the size of the unit. On the market today, you can find air conditioners ranging from 1.5 tons to 5 tons, offered in 0.5 ton increments. But if you aren’t an expert in HVAC, the idea of measuring an air conditioner in tons can initially be confusing. After all, no air conditioner weighs a ton! So what do these numbers mean? Is a 2 ton unit better than a 1.5 ton unit? Is a 5 ton unit the best? Read on for answers to these questions and more!

    Why Air Conditioner Cooling Capacity is Measured in Tonnage

    Usually, when you hear about something being measured in tons, the figure refers to the object’s weight. But for air conditioners, the tonnage of the unit is actually of a measure of its ability to remove a certain amount of heat from the air in your house in a certain amount of time. Specifically, it refers to the unit’s ability to remove 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat from the building in a single hour. Therefore, a 2 ton air conditioner can remove 24,000 BTUs of heat per hour, a 3 ton air conditioner can remove 36,000 BTUs of heat per hour, and a 4 ton air conditioner can remove 48,000 BTUs of heat per hour.

    Not All Sizes Are Created Equal

    Given that air conditioners with higher cooling capacities can remove more heat from the air per hour, you might automatically assume that a higher number is better -- but that’s not true! Choosing the right size air conditioner for your home is essential, and problems can arise if the tonnage is too high or too low.

    If the cooling capacity is too high, your air conditioner will turn on, quickly cool down the house, and then turn off. But the house will soon warm up again, initiating another short cycle. This is a highly inefficient way to keep your house cool, unnecessarily wasting energy and increasing your energy bill. Alternatively, if the cooling capacity is too low, you air conditioner will not have the power to remove all the heat from your house, so it will run constantly. Again, this is an inefficient way to keep the temperature down, and running your air conditioner all day and all night inevitably drives up your energy bill.

    When the cooling capacity of your air conditioner fits with the size of your house, it will go through a few cycles each day. Sometimes it will be on, and sometimes it will be off, but your house will always be at a comfortable temperature, and your energy bill will be under control.

     

    Fun Air Conditioner Facts

     

    Interesting Facts About Air Conditioners

     

    National Air Warehouse offers air conditioning units with a wide range of cooling capacities. Contact us today for more help finding the one that is right for your home!

  • When to Consider a Ductless Air Conditioner: A Guide for Home Remodelers

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    During a home remodeling project, there are lots of decisions to make, but when it comes to the climate of the home you are working on, the type of air conditioner you choose can make a huge difference. On many projects, one of your options is a ductless air conditioner system (also known as a mini-split). These systems are relatively easy to install, and they are ideally suited to certain types of projects. Here are some of the situations in which you might want to consider installing a ductless air conditioner:

     

    • Single-Room Additions. Ductless air conditioner systems are most commonly used in single-room additions like sun rooms, garages, and apartments. It is often much easier to install a ductless system than to add on to existing air conditioning system for the rest of the house. Plus, homeowners often prefer single-room additions to have a climate that is different from the rest of the house -- For instance, the garage does not need to stay as cool as the bedroom during the summer, and the renter of an apartment may want to have control over the heat in their living space.
    • Downsizing Remodeling Projects. Not every home remodeling project is about expansion. Sometimes, owners of large houses realize that they are not using most of the rooms, and they want to downsize. This is an especially common scenario for empty-nesters -- after the kids move out, it no longer makes sense to run the air conditioner on high to keep the entire house cool all summer. One option is install a ductless air conditioner system in the most commonly used rooms -- like the living room, the kitchen, and the master bedroom. That way, the thermostat for the main air conditioning system in the house can be kept on low, resulting in both cost and energy savings.
    • Solving Temperature Discrepancy Problems. Sometimes, one room in the house gets a lot warmer than all the others. A small kitchen might become unbearably hot after running the oven for only a few minutes, or a bedroom with south-facing windows might get so hot during the day that it becomes impossible to sleep at night. In these cases, homeowners have to choose between running the air conditioner so high that the other rooms in the house become frigid, or they have to accept that they will break a sweat whenever they cross the threshold into a certain room. A ductless air conditioner resolves the dilemma by making it possible to control the temperature specifically in an unusually warm room.
    • Adding Air Conditioning to Existing Homes Without Ductwork. If you are working with a homeowner who wants in-home air conditioning but lives in a house that has no existing ductwork, it can be extremely expensive to have it installed. Depending on the size of the house, installing multiple ductless air conditioner systems -- one for each room -- can sometimes be the more cost-effective option.

     
    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of ductless air conditioner systems. Contact us today to find the one that is right for your home remodeling project!

  • The Rise of R410a Refrigerant

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    If it’s been a long time since you last replaced your air conditioner and you’re on the market for a new one, you might realize that new air conditioners with R22 refrigerant are no longer available. Instead, all new air conditioners use R410a refrigerant. The good news for buyers is that R410a refrigerant provides a lot of benefits that R22 did not. When you purchase a new air conditioner with R410a refrigerant, you can expect cost savings in the future, and you can feel good about making a more environmentally friendly choice for your air conditioning system. Read on to learn more about what the rise of the R410a refrigerant can mean for you.

    Comparing R410a Refrigerant to R22 Refrigerant

    R410a refrigerant is a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC). Unlike R22 refrigerant, which a hydrofluorocarbon (HCFC), R410a refrigerant does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. Even better, R410a refrigerant absorbs and releases heat more efficiently than R22 refrigerant. There are several key benefits that result from the higher energy efficiency of R410a refrigerant. Specifically, air conditioners that use R410a refrigerant:

    • Save homeowners money in the long run.
    • Contribute less to energy-use-related environmental problems like climate change.
    • Are less likely to overheat, which can reduce the risk of compressor burnout and the long-term deterioration of the air conditioning system.

    Legal Regulations Surrounding R410a and R22 Refrigerants

    Starting in 2010, all newly manufactured air conditioning systems sold in the United States were required to use R410a refrigerant rather than R22 refrigerant. Beginning in 2015, R410a refrigerant officially became the new standard for residential air conditioning systems in the United States.

    However, it is important to note that you can still order replacement parts for air conditioning systems that use R22 refrigerant. Some of the products on the market that are compatible with older air conditioning systems that use R22 refrigerant include:

    • Vertical evaporator coils
    • Horizontal evaporator coils
    • Front return upflow air handlers

    Of course, since it’s been so long since R22 refrigerant was used in AC systems, you may want to consider replacing your old air conditioning system altogether and investing in a new one. Whether you decide to opt for a replacement part or make the switch to a newly manufactured air conditioning system that offers the environmental and economic advantages of R410a refrigerant, you can find what you need at National Air Warehouse. Contact us today to learn more about the products we offer!

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