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HVAC Blog | National Air Warehouse

  • Your Guide to Choosing a Standalone TXV: Sizing, Types, and Costs

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    In an earlier post, we covered the basics of the Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) -- what it does (and does not do), plus some of the considerations you have to make when deciding whether or not to add a TXV to your purchase or purchase a standalone TXV for an existing system. With newer systems, you may not have to make that choice at all, since a TXV is often already incorporated for efficiency purposes. However, if it becomes clear that you need to add a standalone TXV to your system, it is important to make sure you choose the right product for your system. Read on for more information about the sizing, refrigerant types, and costs of purchasing a standalone TXV.

    The Right Model for Your System

    When buying a standalone TXV, you have to choose one that is consistent with the cooling capacity of your system. The cooling capacity is a measure of your air conditioning system’s ability to remove heat from the air in your home in a certain amount of time. The unit of measure for cooling capacity is tonnage. Typically, a TXV is designed to work for systems that fall within certain tonnage ranges. That means you can find:

    • A TXV for 1.5 to 2 ton systems
    • A TXV for 2 to 3 ton systems
    • A TXV for 3.5 to 5 ton systems

    Refrigerant Type

    You may have heard that the R22 refrigerant is being phased out in favor of the more environmentally friendly R410-A. However, many homeowners still have legacy air conditioning systems that utilize R22, so you can find a TXV that is compatible with either one of these refrigerant types. When you are choosing between products, make sure that the TXV you buy is optimized for the refrigerant that your system utilizes.

    Cost Considerations

    If you’re buying a standalone TXV for an existing system, you can expect to spend around $100, or a little less. When considering the cost of a TXV, you may also want to factor in the warranty, which can add value the product. At the same time, you should also recognize that field installation presents a possible cost -- unless you’re a home-builder or a do-it-yourselfer, in which case installation may be less of a concern.

    Currently, National Air Warehouse offers a Goodman TXV (of any size) for $91.69, with free shipping. This product also comes with a one-year warranty. Contact us today to learn more about this TXV and all of our other products!

  • Air Conditioner Coil Specifications: Making Sense of the Differences between Products

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    Last week on the blog, we discussed some of the considerations you should make when deciding whether to replace your air conditioner coil or get entirely new system. If you have decided that replacing the air conditioner coil is the right option for you, it is important to make sure that the specifications of the air conditioner coil you choose are in line with your system’s needs. Read on to learn more about what distinguishes the different air conditioner coils on the market today.

    Differences between Air Conditioner Coil Options

    All air conditioner coils play the same basic role in your cooling system: They draw in air from the surroundings, cool and condition it, and then release it into your home so that your living space remains cool and comfortable, regardless of the weather outside. For most systems, you will also be choosing between cased coils, which tend to look similar to each other. However, there are key differences between these products that you need to consider when making a purchasing decision:

     

    • Unit airflow orientation. The three options for indoor unit air flow are upflow, downflow, and horizontal. Just as you would expect, with an upflow system, cool air is discharged from the top of the unit. With a downflow system, cool air is discharged from the bottom. With a horizontal system, cool air is discharged from the side. When replacing your air conditioner coil, it is essential to make sure that the orientation of your new product matches that of your old one -- or your air conditioner will be blowing cool air in the wrong direction!
    • Width. The widths of cased evaporator coils typically range between 14 inches and 25 inches. Before choosing a replacement, you should make sure it will fit in the place where your cooling system is located.
    • Cooling capacity. You can find an air conditioner coil with a cooling capacity anywhere between 1.5 tons and 5 tons. The ideal tonnage for your home can vary based on a variety of factors, and choosing a product with a cooling capacity that is too high or too low can cause serious problems. Again, unless you have significant concerns about the past performance of your system, you probably want to match up the cooling capacity of the new system with the old one.
    • Refrigerant type. As we discussed in last week’s post, most new systems use R-104A as the refrigerant. However, there are some legacy systems that still use R22, and you can still buy an air conditioner coil that will work in one of those systems, even though R22 is being phased out.

    Beyond Cased Air Conditioner Coils

    It is important to note that not all air conditioner coils are cased. For unique systems, you can customer order an air conditioner coil configuration that meets your specific needs. With a custom order, you can make sure that your air conditioner coil replacement is optimized for your cooling system, even when you can’t find what you need among the available options.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of cased air conditioner coils, and we also do custom orders. Contact us today for more information!

  • Deciding What to Do When Your Air Conditioner Coil Gives Out: Why the Age of Your Cooling System Matters

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    A malfunctioning air conditioner coil is always bad news. The air conditioner coil plays an essential role in the cooling system -- drawing in air from the outside, cooling it, and then releasing it back into the home -- so you have only two choices when your air conditioner coil gives out: replace the air conditioner coil, or replace the whole system.

    If you’ve relied on your system for decades, you might be hesitant to replace it with something new. After all, there are high-quality evaporator coils on the market today that can boost performance of some of HVAC systems that were installed years ago. If you trust that your system can keep the climate of your home cool and comfortable, why make a change? One key reason: the upcoming phaseout of R22.

    Considering the Upcoming Phaseout of R22 Refrigerant

    Many older cooling systems rely on R22, a refrigerant that is known to contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. Right now, you can still buy a replacement air conditioner coil that works for a cooling system that uses R22, but it is important to note that R22 is being phased out in favor of R-410A, a refrigerant that is more environmentally friendly. The EPA started the phaseout program in 2010, and it is nearing the end. Here are a few key facts about the phaseout that you should know when deciding what to do about a broken air conditioner coil in an aging system:

    • R22 is no longer being manufactured in North America, so supplies are dwindling, and prices are going up.
    • The phaseout is set to end in 2020, at which point you will no longer be able to access R22, so you will need to replace your cooling system.

    Replacing your air conditioner coil is less expensive than purchasing and installing a whole new system, so you may want to replace the coil and continue using R22 as a refrigerant for the two more years that it is possible. On the other hand, you might feel like it is worth investing in a completely new air conditioning system now, since you’re going to have to replace yours within the next two years anyway. Plus, when you switch from R22 to R-410A, you won’t have to worry about rising refrigerant costs, and you’ll know that you’re making an environmentally friendly choice.
    Whichever route you choose, National Air Warehouse has the products you need. We offer replacement air conditioner coils for older systems that use R22 refrigerant and newer systems that use R-410A. We also provide air conditioning systems that can keep your home or business at a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Contact us today for more information!

  • 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!

  • Choosing between an Upflow and Downflow Furnace for Your Home Building Project

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    If home builders can learn anything from the winter of 2017-2018, it’s that an effective heating systems is essential for a comfortable home. As temperatures have dropped to record lows around the country, home builders need to be aware that more clients will be interested in the ability of their home’s furnace to keep their family safe and warm, regardless of the weather outside. As a home builder, one of the decisions you have to make is whether an upflow furnace or a downflow furnace is the best choice for your project. In order to figure that out, it’s important to examine some of the distinctions between upflow and downflow furnaces, as well as what they might mean for the heating of the home.

    Upflow vs. Downflow Furnaces: The Basic Differences

    At the most basic level, there are key differences in the ways that upflow and downflow furnaces heat and distribute air. With an upflow furnace, the air enters the bottom of the unit, is warmed in the heat exchanger, and then is released from the top of the unit into the ductwork of the home. A downflow furnace works in the exact opposite way: the heat enters the unit from the top, gets warmed in the heat exchanger, and then is released from the bottom of the unit into the ductwork of the home. That means that upflow furnaces are typically situated in a basement or crawl-space, while downflow furnaces must be stored in an attic.

    Considerations for Different Projects

    If you are trying to decide whether an upflow or downflow furnace makes more sense for your project, here are a few things to keep in mind:

     

    • Energy efficiency. Heat rises, so upflow furnaces are often more energy efficient than downflow furnaces. If you’re looking to cut the carbon footprint of your home building project, an upflow furnace can help you reach your efficiency goals.
    • Building and flooring costs. If you’ve already planned a basement for your home building project, this isn’t an issue but if you’re adding a basement or crawl-space to your home building project for the sole purpose of creating a space for an upflow furnace, costs can go up significantly. At the same time, adding reinforced subflooring in the attic for a downflow furnace can also be expensive.
    • Installation challenges. The installation process for downflow furnaces tends to be more difficult, and you have to pay closer attention to building codes requiring reinforced subflooring.
    • Homeowner preference. Some homeowners simply feel more comfortable in rooms where the heat comes below, rather than being dispersed from above. It’s a good idea to check with clients to find out about their preferences.

     

     

    As a homebuilder, you can find everything you need to optimize the HVAC systems of all of your at National Air Warehouse. Contact us today for more information!

  • The Benefits of a Rheem Plenum Adapter Accessory for Home Remodelers

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    When you are remodeling a home or office building, you need to make sure that the gas furnace is sufficient to guarantee a comfortable temperature throughout the newly remodeled space, no matter how cold the winter weather gets. However, things can get tricky if you realize that the size of the cased coil that is required to support the needs of the newly remodeled building is too large for the existing furnace. Read on to learn how a Rheem plenum adapter accessory can help you resolve this problem.

    Rheem Plenum Adapters: The Basics

    At the most basic level, a Rheem plenum adapter can make it possible for a nominal sized cased coil to be installed on the next-smallest size of gas furnace. More specifically, a plenum adapter can allow you to do the following:

    • Fit a 17.5-inch-wide coil 14-inch-wide furnace
    • Fit a 21-inch-wide coil with a 17.5-inch-wide furnace
    • Fit a 24.5-inch-wide coil with a 21-inch-wide furnace

    This might seem simple, but it can make a huge difference for home remodelers, in terms of both time and cost. By using a plenum adapter, you can avoid the hassle and expense of replacing an existing gas furnace that is not sufficient to meet the needs of the remodeled space. Rheem plenum adapters run about 76 dollars, which is nothing compared to the cost of a new furnace. Plus, the installation process for a plenum adapter is relatively simple -- just two steps for an upflow furnace and three steps for a downflow furnace.

    Fitting a Plenum Adapter to an Upflow or Downflow Application

    When you are buying plenum adapter for a gas furnace, you need to make sure that the accessory is designed for the type of furnace you are working with. An upflow system pushes air vertically out of the top of the furnace, usually from a basement. A downflow system pushes air from the bottom of the furnace, down into the vents, usually from an attic. There are slight differences in the designs of plenum adapter accessories for upflow and downflow applications, so you need to make sure you are getting the right one for your system.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers Rheem plenum adapter accessories for upflow and downflow systems. As a home remodeler, you can also find a wide variety of other high-quality products from Rheem, one of our featured brands. Contact us today to learn more about all of our products!

  • Choosing a Heat Strip Size That Can Keep Your Home Warm: The Factors to Consider

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    When you are buying a new furnace or air handler, you may be asked to choose a heat strip size. Depending on the product, heat strip sizes can range from 5 kW to as high as 20 kW. Ultimately, the choice you make can mean the difference between enjoying warm, cozy winter nights at home with your family and shivering through endless evenings of uncomfortable cold, wrapped in blankets and layered clothes.

    Of course, the size of your home is the most important factor, because it determines the volume of space that needs to be heated. However, there are several additional factors you need to consider when choosing the appropriate heat strip size for the furnace in your home. These factors can vary between homes, and they can make a big difference when it comes to making the appropriate decision for a heat strip size. Consider the following:

     

    • The climate in which you live. If your house is located in the Midwest or Northeast,where the temperature regularly drops below freezing in the winter, it is likely that you will need to choose a heat strip size that is larger than the size required for someone living in the Southeast in the same size house. Watching temperatures hit record lows this year, homeowners in the Midwest and Northeast don’t want to take the risk of choosing heat strips that are too small.
    • The insulation in the home. If your home is well-insulated, you may be able to get away with heat strips of a smaller size. However, if your house is poorly insulated, you may need to choose heat strips of a larger size, even if you live in a climate that is generally warm.
    • The size and location of the windows. Depending on size and location, windows can either increase or decrease the heat load of the home. Uninsulated windows can transfer cold air into the home, and if they are drafty, things can get even worse. At the same time, strategically positioned windows can also let in sunlight and decrease the heating needs of your house.

    When you choose heat strips that are above the standard size for your furnace or air handler, you typically have to pay a slightly higher price, but choosing the right size is typically well-worth it for homeowners. For instance, going from 5 kW heat strips to 10 kW heat strips for an upflow air handler can cost as little as 15 dollars -- typically representing an increase of only about 2 percent of the total cost. As a homeowner, it’s usually best to focus on the other relevant factors when choosing athe right heat strip size for your home.
    National Air Warehouse offers furnaces, air handlers, and a wide variety of other HVAC equipment. Contact us today for more information!

  • The Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV): Not Your Average Valve

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    As a result of more stringent energy efficiency regulations in recent years, thermostatic expansion valve (TXV) has become increasingly popular. Today, an indoor TXV is included with most gas furnaces and air conditioning systems on the market -- although it should be noted that these do typically have to be installed separately. If you have a system that did not come with a TXV, it is also possible to buy one separately and install it yourself. For other HVAC components, like air handlers, you may be asked to choose whether or not you want to add a TXV to your order.

    In order to decide whether a TXV makes sense for your system, it is important to know how they work. Read on for a basic overview of how a TXV functions in an HVAC system.

    What A TXV Does (and Does Not) Do

    The TXV makes it possible to precisely regulate the rate at which the liquid refrigerant is transferred into the evaporator in an HVAC system. By making it possible to control the flow of the refrigerant, a TXV offers two major benefits:

    • Improving the efficiency of the system
    • Preventing “floodback” -- that is, keeping excess liquid refrigerant from flowing back into the compressor after it has entered the evaporator

    There are a lot of misconceptions about what a TXV can do, so it is important for buyers to understand the limitations of this valve from the outset. The TXV only regulates the flow of the liquid refrigerant between the compressor and the evaporator. It does not have the capacity to control air temperature, humidity, suction pressure, or head pressure.

    The TXV works to regulate the flow of the liquid refrigerant by reacting to changes in two variables: the pressure in the evaporator, and the temperature of the refrigerant when it is being transferred out of the evaporator. The design of the mechanical design of the TXV makes it possible for the liquid refrigerant flow to be optimized based on the temperature and pressure conditions at any given moment.

    Weighing the Decision to Add a TXV

    Like so many features that boost the efficiency of an HVAC system, the TXV comes with an upfront cost. At the same time, a higher efficiency heating or cooling system will ultimately lower your energy bills and eventually pay itself off. And of course, it’s also better for the environment. You may also get a discount if you are adding a TXV to an order, rather than buying it on its own. You should keep these considerations in mind when deciding whether or not it makes sense to add a TXV to a new order or purchase one for an existing system.
    You can buy a standalone TXV from National Air Warehouse, or you can get a system where a TXV may be included. Contact us today to find out more about how our products can help meet your heating and cooling needs!

  • Is Your HVAC Company Growing a Brand?

    Growing companyBranding is the identity of a company. The stronger the brand message is, the more distinct the company's identity will be. A recognizable brand with a strong identity is one of the foundations of business success, in the HVAC niche and every niche. With this in mind, you should ask yourself if your HVAC company is growing a brand!

    If you think that you might need help in this important area, you'll benefit from the brand-growing tips for HVAC contractors that we are going to share today.

     

    Create a Brand Message

     

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    If you don't have a powerful brand message, your company may not stand out from competitors in a positive way. We believe that coming up with a brand message is a very smart strategy, whether your HVAC company is new or it's been around for years. It's never too late to brainstorm and create a brand message which hits the target with your ideal customers.

    The brand message should be short, succinct and designed to convey the purpose and values of your business. For example, is your company committed to delivering superb customer service to members of the local community. Does the company offer specialized HVAC expertise which makes it a better choice for consumers than other companies? Think about the values and purpose of your company. Then, come up with a brand message which is no longer than one paragraph. You may use this brand message in order to get more from your marketing, advertising and branding efforts.

     

    Come Up With a Customer Avatar

     

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    A customer avatar is a "character". It's a composite of all of your customers. This character is the person that your branding efforts will be aimed at. To create this character, review any information about your customers that you have. Are they usually younger, or older? Are they typically male or female? Which products or services did they buy? Also, think about conversations that you've had with your clients. Did your clients share information about themselves and their passions and interests? Did they share information about how they feel about your company?

    Once you've done some hard thinking, begin to put together the customer avatar. It might be a middle-aged male with a middle-class income and an interest in home improvement. It might be a younger woman with a lower income who needed a freestanding air conditioning unit for her rental apartment. After you have the avatar, give him or her a name and write up a little backstory. This may seem a bit silly, but it isn't.

    Keep your character in mind when you're planning your marketing strategies. You'll find that branding and marketing with the character in mind allows you to target the right types of prospective customers.

     

    Work On Long-term Relationships with Clients

     

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    Sometimes, the best branding is based on a five-star business reputation. This type of stellar reputation may be marketed easily. It speaks for itself in many ways. The best way to get the five-star reviews that you need in order to build your HVAC brand is to put a lot of care into nurturing your long-term relationships with your clients.

    When you get customer loyalty, you'll get good reviews, word-of-mouth advertising and referrals. So, consider your relationships with your clients as branding for your business and act accordingly. One option might be rewarding loyal clients by offering them discounts, inviting them to special events (Open Houses where new HVAC systems are displayed, for example, and drinks and snacks are offered) and giving them gifts when they refer clients to you.

     

    Curate Your Online Reputation

     

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    You need to care for your company's image and this means keeping tabs on what is said about your company online. This is called reputation management and it's one of the key elements of growing an HVAC brand. For example, if you get a bad review online, spring into action by telling the unhappy customer that you're sorry about his or her bad experience. Suggest things that you can do in order to resolve the situation. For example, if one up your technicians showed up late for the job or didn't show up at all, offer a free service or a free hour of labor, or a partial refund.

    Do all that you can to neutralize bad reviews before they can damage your brand. Also, reward great feedback with sincere thanks.

     

    Try These Branding Tips Today

     

    Branding has many "moving parts" and it's something that every smart HVAC company owner spends time on. This is why we hope that you try our branding tips today. Also, if you're really busy and you don't think that you have time for branding, which is so important to your company's future, you may outsource the tasks.

    Lots of companies offer branding services for affordable rates. Just be sure to choose a wonderful provider company with a strong and positive reputation.

    Author Bio:
    Ryan Holden is a former HVAC Technician and Director of Progressive Heating & Air based in San Diego and founder of HVAC News Today.

  • Fighting the Spread of the Flu: How a Germicidal Ultraviolet Air Treatment Kit Can Help

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    Flu season has arrived, and health officials around the United States are projecting that this year’s flu season will be worse than usual. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there have been early outbreaks in several regions, which tends to be a bad sign for the country as a whole. The flu season in the Southern Hemisphere was also harsher than usual, which is another indicator of a severe flu season in North America.

    Even worse, health officials are reporting that the standard flu vaccine may not be effective against the dominant strain of flu (H3N2). This strain acquired a mutation that decreased the flu shot’s effectiveness in Australia to only 10 percent during the flu season in the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, the H3N2 strain often makes people sicker than some of the other flu strains.

    In the face of concerns about the severity of this year’s flu season, it is important to do everything you can to protect the health of your family. Read on to learn more about how a UV Air Treatment Kit can help.

    How a Germicidal Ultraviolet Air Treatment Kit Works to Fight the Flu

    When viruses like the flu are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, it irreparably damages their DNA. This prevents the flu from being spread from one person to another, regardless of whether or not the flu can evade the vaccine. Thus, treating indoor air with a germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit can destroy the viral particles that might otherwise make your family sick.

    Choosing an indoor air treatment kit as a strategy to fight the flu just makes sense. With the holidays in full swing and temperatures dropping below zero in many places around the country, your family is probably spending a lot more time inside your home. When people are in close quarters, it simply raises the odds that someone will bring in the flu, and soon, everyone will get sick.

    If you’re a business owner, a germicidal UV air treatment kit can also help your employees stay healthy during flu season. There is nothing more stressful than getting short-staffed by an office-wide flu outbreak, so an air treatment kit can be a great addition to your building during flu season.
    National Air Warehouse offers a 24-volt germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit that can aid in the fight against many types of pathogens, including the flu virus. Contact us today to find out more about how this innovative technology can help keep your family and your employees healthy this flu season!

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