For home builders and remodelers, summer is a peak time for business. With good weather and lots of light, you can really make progress on major construction projects. At this time of year, most people aren’t worried about indoor heating, but for all of your home building projects, you need to think about the best way to make sure the house stays warm during the cold, dark days of winter. That means choosing the ideal furnace for the building.
One of the factors to consider when choosing between furnaces is indoor airflow — that is, the way that warm air flows out of the furnace. You can choose between an upflow furnace (with top discharge), a downflow furnace (with bottom discharge), and a horizontal furnace (with side discharge). As a home builder or remodeler, there are important things you need to know about each time of system in order to find the best one for your project and install it in an appropriate location.
Upflow Furnace (Top Discharge)
An upflow furnace draws air in from the bottom of the unit. The air is warmed in the heat exchanger, and then it is discharged from the top of the furnace into the ductwork of the house. Because heat rises, it is best to place an upflow furnace in a basement or crawlspace. If the building you are working on has a basement with a low ceiling, you need to make sure that the furnace fits in the space. That often means choosing a “lowboy” furnace (which is typically about 4 feet in height), rather than a “highboy” furnace (which is usually about 6 feet in height).
Downflow Furnace (Bottom Discharge)
Just as you would assume, the air travels through a downflow furnace in the opposite direction as it does through an upflow furnace. The air enters at the top, is warmed in the exchanger, and then is released from the bottom of the furnace into the ductwork of the home. Often, a downflow furnace is placed in the attic, but it can also be installed in the garage or some other location on the main level. A downflow furnace can be a good choice for a home that does not have a basement or a crawl space.
Horizontal Furnace (Side Discharge)
A horizontal furnace takes air in from one side, warms it in the exchanger, and then pushes it out into the ductwork from the opposite side. Horizontal furnaces, like “lowboy” upflow furnaces, usually have a relatively low vertical clearance, so they can be installed in basements and crawlspaces. When choosing between different horizontal furnaces for a home with highly specific space constraints, you may want to check to see if the furnace discharges the air to the left or to the right, in order to ensure that it will work for your project.
National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of upflow furnaces, downflow furnaces, and horizontal furnaces. If you are building or remodeling a home this summer and need help finding the right one for your project, contact us today!
This summer, you’ll be relying on your home air conditioner to keep your house cool. Memorial Day is only a week away, which means that for the next few months, your air conditioner will probably be running most of the time. Before the dog days of summer hit, it is critical to make sure your air conditioner is working properly, but you also need to think about indoor air quality. Even a well-functioning air conditioner can’t prevent the circulation of environmental pollutants without an air filtration system.
In recent years, better home construction and insulation methods have made buildings air-tight and easier to cool, which has improved energy efficiency. At the same time, however, these improvements make it harder for pollutants to escape from your home and be replaced by fresh air. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now ranks indoor air pollutants among the top five environmental health risks. Your family may be exposed to a wide range of damaging particles in the air, including contaminants that can trigger allergies and cause breathing problems. Dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and even mold spores are all commonly found in the air in people’s homes.
Home Air Filtration System Options
One way to improve the air quality in your home is to install a home air filtration system. When choosing between filters, one of the most important factors to consider is the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating, which ranks home air filtration systems on a scale of 1 to 20, based on the following three categories:
- The filter’s ability to remove particles from the air.
- The filter’s ability to resist air flow.
- The expected operating lifetime of the filtration system.
Some of the most common types of systems you’ll find on the market today include pleated media air filters and washable/reusable air filters. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type, so you must consider your individual situation when choosing between them.
The main benefit of pleated media air filters is that they are particularly efficient for catching both small and large particles in the air, compared to some of the other types of filters that are available. They also operate relatively quietly, and they have relatively low airflow resistance. The MERV rating for pleated media air filters typically ranges between 5 and 13.
The best thing about washable/reusable air filters is their durability. They are designed to last a long time, and the washable filters are easy to clean and reuse. It is important to note that the MERV rating can vary widely. For traditional models, the rating is usually between 2 and 8, but for high efficiency models, it can be as high as 14 or even 16, depending on the airflow.
National Air Warehouse offers both pleated media air filters and washable/reusable air filters. With hot temperatures right around the corner, now is the time to add one to your home air conditioning system in order to ensure that you stay cool and healthy all summer long! If you need more help determining which air filtration system is right for your home, contact us today!
It’s finally May, which means that summer is just around the corner. That means you can start looking forward to all the things you love about summer — backyard barbecues, garden-fresh vegetables, beach days, baseball games on TV, ice cream… But it also means that temperatures are going to start creeping up, and you need to make sure that your air conditioning system is ready for the warm weather. Spring is the best time to determine whether your air conditioner will make it through another long, hot summer, or if it is time to replace it.
Checking Your Air Conditioner
It is critical to check your air conditioner in the spring to make sure it is working. That way, if you need to get a replacement, you will have ample time to look into the options and find one that works for your building and your budget. When getting your air conditioner ready for its first test after winter, there are a few things to check for before turning it on. Some of these can serve as red flags, indicating that it may be time to find a replacement.
- Outdoor unit panels. Sometimes, in the winter, the panels covering the electrical connections in the outdoor unit get misaligned or blown away by heavy winds. Severe damage or missing panels could be a sign that it’s time for a replacement. It is not safe to start the system until all panels are in place.
- Suction line insulation. The insulation of the suction line, which is the large pipe on the outdoor unit, may also be have been damaged, by ice or small animals. It’s usually not very hard to find replacement insulation before testing the unit, but if the suction line itself is damaged, you will likely need to replace your system.
- Debris in the outdoor coil and surrounding area. For the air conditioner to run efficiently, it is critical to remove debris from the outdoor coil, and also to clear the area around it of leaves and mulch that may have accumulated during the winter months.
- Dust in the supply vents and return air grills. Inside the building, it is common for dust to accumulate in the supply vents and return air grills. You can usually clear away the dust with a vacuum cleaner.
After all that is done, and it looks like everything is in place, it’s time to turn the air conditioner on. Within a few minutes, cool air should start to come out of the registers. If the air is warm, or if there is no air at all, you should turn off the unit immediately and start looking for causes of malfunction.
If it turns out that your air conditioner isn’t ready to handle the summer season, you’re in great shape, because you still have time to replace it before the temperatures get too high. Learn more about some of the best-priced replacement options offered by Air National Warehouse.
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.
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.
The 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.
If you are looking for a gas furnace for your home or business, you’re probably looking at systems that are meant for use with natural gas (NAT). Most of the products on the market today are primarily intended for use with natural gas. However, with some systems — including standard gas furnaces and combination heat and air conditioning systems — it is possible to purchase a propane conversion kit that makes it possible for your system to run on propane (LP) gas. As you make the decision, here are few things you need to take into account:
Justifications for Fuel Conversion
The primary reason why some home and business owners are interested in fuel conversion is that it allows them to diversify their energy dependence. Instead of just relying on natural gas, home and business owners who choose a propane conversion kit have the opportunity to utilize propane if the need arises. This can be especially helpful in emergency situations or other circumstances when natural gas is unavailable. With a propane conversion kit, you can take advantage of an alternative fuel source to keep your system going.
Costs of an Add-On Propane Conversion Kit
Adding a propane conversion kit when you buy a new furnace does come at a cost — the current rate is about 99 dollars. However, this cost is significantly lower than the cost of buying a standalone propane conversion kit if you change your mind and want to buy one later. If you add one to an order before when you buy a new furnace, the cost can be 50 percent lower than the going market rate. Therefore, if you are on the fence about adding a propane conversion kit to your order, it might make sense to invest now instead of regretting it later.
Ease of Setup
Some propane conversion kits are notoriously hard to set up. Therefore, if you are choosing a furnace that is specifically designed to convert to LP gas, you should make sure that any propane conversion kit you buy will not become more of a headache than it is worth.
It is important to note that not all furnaces are designed for conversion to LP gas. If you have the option of buying a propane conversion kit alongside your furnace, you know that it is. If not, it is important to take a close look at the product specifications before making any assumptions.
National Air Warehouse offers multiple gas furnaces systems that can be converted to LP gas using a propane conversion kit, and we offer kits alongside our new products. Contact us today for more information!
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.
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.
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.