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  • 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!

  • Choosing the Right Evaporator Coil: Cased vs Uncased Options

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    Evaporator coils are essential to the proper functioning of your air conditioning unit, ensuring an optimal climate in your home or business. Just as the electrical coils that comprise heat strips warm the air that comes out of your heater, evaporator coils cool and condition the air that is released from your air conditioner. Your air conditioner works by drawing in surrounding air from your home. When the air passes over the evaporator coils, the heat is removed. The evaporator coils also work in conjunction with the condenser unit to condense the water in the air, thereby reducing the humidity. That way, the air that is released into your home or business is cool and dry, optimizing the climate during the dog days of summer.

    There are several types of evaporator coils on the market today. Cased evaporator coils are the most common, with several different subtypes available, but you can also find uncased coils that can meet your unique needs.

    Cased Evaporator Coils

    The air conditioning units in most homes and businesses are equipped with cased evaporator coils. Cased evaporator coils are particularly popular because they are highly durable and because they are relatively easy to install. Within this category of evaporator coils, there are three common subtypes:

     

    • A Coils. A Coils are named for the shape that they take within the case, which resembles a capital letter “A.” They are most commonly used in vertical air conditioners, in which the air flows either up or down as it pases through the coils. A Coils can accommodate enough refrigerant to operate at a relatively high efficiency.
    • N Coils. Like A Coils, N Coils get their name from the shape of the coils within the case, which resembles a capital letter “N.” They can work for either vertical air conditioners or for horizontal air conditioners, in which the air flows in one side of the unit and out the other. It is important to note that N coils are growing in popularity because they are smaller than the other options and because they operate at a higher level of energy efficiency.
    • Slab Coils. Slab coils are the least common type of coils on the market. They are usually used for horizontal air conditioning units.

    Uncased Evaporator Coils

    Uncased evaporator coils can work for either vertical or horizontal air conditioning units. They are ideal for systems that require customization because their is no outer casing. As a result, the shape of the coils can be easily maneuvered in an ideal position. However, it is important to note that after you purchase an uncased evaporator coil, you may need an expert technician to help you customize the shape to fit your unit.

    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of cased evaporator coils, and we can also help you find uncased options that can be customized to your individual needs. Contact us today for more information about our products!

  • Optional Heat Strips for Gas Split Systems: Preparing for Unusually Cold Temperatures

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    If you are thinking about installing a heat pump system in your home or business, you might be considering a gas split system -- the most common type of heat pump system on the market today. A gas split system consists of an outdoor heat pump condenser and an indoor handler that is usually stored in your basement or attic. While there are a variety of decisions you will have to make when choosing a gas split system, one important question is whether or not you want to include optional heat strips in your system.

    How Heat Strips Work

    Heat strips provide supplemental heat during unexpectedly cold periods, when your regular heat pump system cannot adequately warm your home or office. To understand how heat strips work, it can be helpful to know how the heat pump operates under normal conditions. The heat pump pulls in air from the surroundings, and the liquid refrigerant captures the heat in the air. This causes the refrigerant to be converted into a warm vapor, making it possible for the heat to be dispersed throughout the building.

    However, when the outside temperature drops below 40 degrees, there is very little heat for your heat pump to use, and the heat pump system is unable to draw in enough warm air to sufficiently heat the building. That’s where heat strips come in. Heat strips are strips of electric heating coils, consisting of wire elements that can be heated using electricity. When air flows over the heat strips, it is warmed before being distributed throughout your home or business.

    Choosing a Gas Split System with Heat Strips

    When choosing a gas split system, you will have to decide whether you want to buy a traditional system or a complete system that includes supplemental heating via heat strips. It might be a good idea to choose a gas split system that includes heat strips if you live in a location that is prone to low temperatures and sudden cold snaps in the winter.

    Some buyers shy away from heat strips because the heat pump system operates less efficiently when they are in use. You might worry that heat strips will start working when supplemental heat isn’t actually needed, unnecessarily driving up your energy bill. However, there are certain things you can do to prevent this from happening -- like keeping your thermostat set at a constant temperature, gradually increasing the temperature on your thermostat when it does need to be raised, and avoiding the emergency heat setting. If you follow those procedures, you can avoid unnecessary energy expense, but still have optional heat strips available to provide supplemental heat when you need it.

    National Air Warehouse offers a wide variety of gas split systems, including our featured Rheem Gas Split Systems, some of which include optional supplemental heating via heat strips. Contact us today for more help choosing the gas split system that is best for you!

  • Choosing Between Programmable and Non-Programmable Thermostats

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    When you look for a new thermostat for your home or business, you are often faced with a dizzying array of choices. The many thermostats on the market today have a wide range of capabilities, so it can be challenging to figure out which one best meets your needs. The first decision that you need to make in the thermostat purchasing process is whether you want a programmable thermostat or a non-programmable thermostat.

    Programmable Thermostats

    Programmable thermostats are becoming increasingly popular for controlling the heating and cooling systems in homes and businesses. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature in advance. That way, you can coordinate your heating and cooling needs with your schedule. For instance, if you work a 9-to-5 job in the summer , you might set the thermostat so that the air conditioner doesn’t waste energy running all day long, but it turns on just soon enough that you come home to a cool kitchen. Similarly, in a small business, you can set your heating and cooling system so that it ensures a comfortable environment during working hours, but doesn’t cut into your budget by running at night.

    A programmable thermostat can be especially helpful if you live in a place where there is a large temperature swing at night. You don’t want your air conditioner running when the temperature drops to 55 degrees in the early morning, but if you know that it will be 85 degrees by 3pm, you can set the thermostat to keep the building cool in the afternoon.

    Non-programmable Thermostats

    Non-programmable thermostats, sometimes called manual thermostats, provide a more traditional way to control the heating and cooling system in your home or business. You’re probably familiar with these thermostats, which allow you to manually choose the temperature of the building at any given time. Some people prefer non-programmable thermostats because they make it easier to change the climate of your home in response to changing weather conditions -- with programmable thermostats, it can be harder to alter the program when a heat wave or a cold front comes in unexpectedly. In addition, manual thermostats usually cost less upfront.

    If you are retired, work at home, or spend all day in the house caring for kids, you might always be around to change the thermostat, so a non-programmable thermostat may be just as good as programmable one. Also, if you live in a place where the outside temperature doesn’t vary much, leaving a non-programmable thermostat at a single temperature level can ensure that your building maintains a consistent temperature too.

    To meet the specific needs of your home or business, National Air Warehouse carries both programmable and non-programmable thermostats. Contact us today to find out more about what we offer!

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