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  • 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!

  • Considering a Ductless Heat Pump for Your Home

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    Last summer on the blog, we talked about the potential benefits of ductless air conditioners for home remodeling projects. Now that winter is here, it’s time to talk about ductless heat pumps. Ductless heat pumps, also known as ductless mini-complete systems, are very similar to ductless air conditioners, in that they serve as standalone climate-control systems that don’t use ducting. Thus, they are ideal for living spaces in your house where the other viable option would be baseboard heating. If you are considering a ductless heat pump for part of your home, read on to learn more about the energy-saving benefits of these systems and some of the cost considerations you should think about.

    The Energy-Saving Benefits of a Ductless Heat Pump

    The primary explanation for why many homeowners today are choosing ductless heat pumps over traditional baseboard heating is simple: the energy savings. From the start, ductless systems are more energy efficient than traditional heating systems because the mere existence of ductwork inevitably results in a loss of energy. According to one estimate, at least 25 percent of the energy generated by the HVAC system is lost to the ductwork in the average home.

    Another reason why ductless systems are more efficient is that they have inverter-driven compressors. Unlike traditional compressors in HVAC systems, which turn on and off in response to changes in the system’s needs, inverter-driven compressors simply slow down or speed up. Compressor start-up requires a lot more energy than compressor speed-up, so ductless heat pumps end up being a lot more efficient.

    It is important to note that the degree of energy efficiency varies between ductless heat pump systems. You can compare systems based on their SEER ratings. Ductless heat pumps with a 14 SEER rating have good efficiency, but there are also systems on the market today with SEER ratings as high 33.

    Cost Considerations for Consumers

    When it comes to deciding whether or not to choose a ductless heat pump for a living space in your home, cost can be a major factor. Many consumers initially shy away from ductless heat pumps because of the relatively high upfront costs, but the significant increase in energy efficiency can make up for your initial investment in the long-term.

    Moreover, in some states and localities, there are tax credits that can help offset the upfront cost of a ductless heat pump system. If you’re looking to take advantage of a tax credit, make sure to find out whether / which types of heat pumps qualify for a tax credit in your area when you are choosing a system.  

     

    National Air Warehouse offers a variety of ductless heat pump options. For more help deciding which one is right for your living space, contact us today!

  • Wi-Fi Thermostats Thermostats as Holiday Gifts

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    Now that Thanksgiving is over and the holiday season is officially in full swing, odds are good that you’re on the lookout for the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend or family member. One unique gift idea that you might want to consider this year is a wi-fi thermostat. Unlike traditional programmable and non-programmable thermostats, a wi-fi thermostat is connected to the internet, which means that you can access information about the climate in your home no matter where you are. Even more importantly, you can make changes to the current state of your heating and cooling systems so that the climate of your home will be exactly the way you want it when you get home. This innovative technology can be a great option for lots of people on your holiday shopping list.

    Who Needs a Wi-Fi Thermostat?

    The best kind of gift that you can get for a friend or family member is one that they will actually use and truly appreciate. Here are a few of the people on your holiday shopping list who might benefit from what a wi-fi thermostat has to offer:

     

    • The Mobile App Enthusiast. More and more Americans are looking to manage every aspect of their lives from a single screen. Because a wi-fi thermostat is always connected to the internet, it can always be accessed from a smart phone or tablet. If someone on your gift list is always on the hunt for the latest in mobile technology, a wi-fi thermostat is a great option.
    • The Tech Junkie. If someone on your holiday shopping list just loves the bells and whistles of the latest technology, a wi-fi thermostat won’t disappoint. Some of the latest products on the market offer high-tech benefits like self-programming features and touch screens.
    • The Busy Parent. Because a wi-fi thermostat can be accessed from anywhere, it can be a major stress reliever for busy parents. With a wi-fi thermostat, parents won’t have to remember to reset the thermostat when shuttling kids between school and soccer practice.
    • The Environmental Advocate. If someone on your holiday shopping list is always looking for new ways to combat climate change, wi-fi thermostats offer a variety of energy-saving benefits. For instance, many of the wi-fi thermostats on the market today are Energy Star certified, and some have an auto-away mode that saves energy when you aren’t home -- making it easier to reduce your carbon footprint without even thinking about it.

     

     

    National Air Warehouse offers multiple wi-fi thermostats that can meet the needs of anyone on your holiday shopping list. We also offer free home shipping anywhere in the United States, completely tax free (except Florida). Contact us today to learn more about our offerings!

  • 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!

  • The Importance of High Quality Copper Refrigerant Tubing Insulation

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    Last week on the blog, we talked about how helpful it can be to address issues with your air conditioning system in the fall, when issues are still on your mind after a long summer. When it comes to the functioning of your air conditioning system, the copper refrigerant lines that run between the condenser and the evaporator coil play an essential role. The larger of the two lines -- known as the suction line -- carries a cool gas, so it must be insulated with tubing. Read on to learn how the quality of this insulation can affect your HVAC system.

    Protecting Copper Refrigerant Lines with Insulation

    There are a few key problems that are associated with refrigerant line insulation, so it is essential to choose refrigerant tubing insulation that addresses these concerns. If you’re looking for tubing insulation for copper refrigerant lines, make sure it offers adequate protection against the following threats:

     

    • Condensation. Whether your copper lines are located indoors or outdoors, the copper line will likely be exposed to air that is warmer than the refrigerant that it carries. When warm air hits the cool copper line, it can lead to condensation. If your insulation does not provide an adequate barrier between the air and the copper line, it can create a moist, humid atmosphere within the insulation tube that is an excellent breeding ground for mold. Therefore, you should look for insulation with a closed-cell structure that prevents warm outside air from reaching the copper line.
    • Energy loss. Keeping the refrigerant in the suction line at a cool temperature is essential for maintaining the efficiency of the air conditioning system. The insulation basically acts like a thermos that keeps the refrigerant cool. If the refrigerant is exposed to warm outside air, more energy will be needed to keep it at the appropriate temperature. Again, choosing tubing insulation with a closed-cell structure can effectively guard against this problem and help keep your energy bills low.  
    • Ultraviolet radiation. If your copper line is located outdoors, it is essential to choose insulation that provides adequate protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Even if the insulation is well-structured to prevent thermal energy losses and protect against condensation, long-term UV radiation can degrade the surface of the insulation and put your copper lines at risk. In order to avoid this hazard, you should look for tubing insulation that has been treated with a finish that is designed specifically to protect against surface degradation from UV exposure.

     

     

    If you’re looking for high-quality copper refrigerant tubing insulation, National Air Warehouse has what you need. We offer six-foot length tubing with both 7/8” and 3/4” inside diameters. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings!

  • 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!

  • Halloween Heating Tips for Homeowners

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    Happy Halloween! Today is the scariest day of the year, but with the cold months of winter on the horizon, you probably have something on your mind that’s even scarier than ghosts and ghouls: your winter energy bill. As a business owner, you need to keep the building warm in order to ensure the comfort of your customers and the productivity of your employees. As a homeowner, you want to keep your family cozy and warm during the long nights of winter. However, heating a home or business can be expensive, so you have to be strategic about the heating choices you make. Read on for some Halloween tips to help you keep your building warm this winter without dying of fright when you see your energy bill.

    Tip 1: It’s no treat to get tricked about AFUE.

    If you’re buying a new gas furnace for the winter, one of the things you have to consider is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of the system. This number is expressed as a percentage, and it is calculated by dividing the total heat output by the total energy consumed. When looking at these figures, it is important to understand what they might mean for your energy bill. In general, choosing a system with a higher AFUE can lower your energy bill. Medium-efficiency heating systems typically have AFUE ratings between 80% and 90%, while high-efficiency systems typically have ratings between 90% and 98.5%.

    However, it is important to note that AFUE ratings can only be directly compared if you are looking at systems that use the same fuel type. You can’t compare the AFUE of a natural gas furnace with the AFUE of an electric furnace if you are worried about your energy bill, because the costs of natural gas and electricity differ.

    Tip 2: Don’t count on the ghost in your attic to adjust your thermostat when it gets cold.

    In the winter, there’s nothing worse than coming home from a long day of work to a frigid house or arriving at your business in the morning and shivering through your 9 o’clock meeting. At the same time, you don’t want to waste energy heating your house all day when no one is home or your business all night when no one is working. To resolve this problem, you can install a programmable thermostat, which allows you to set a temperature schedule for your home or business so that it is warm when you want it to be without draining your budget by heating during the off-hours. Another option is a wi-fi thermostat, which enables you to adjust your thermostat remotely.

    Tip 3: Don’t be a ghoul and rule out a dual fuel packaged unit -- it might make sense for you!

    Dual fuel packaged units differ from traditional heat pumps in that they utilize a built-in gas furnace for supplemental heating rather than electric heat strips. Therefore, they are ideal for customers who live in places where the cost of heating with gas is lower than the cost of heating with electricity. Find out about the energy costs in your area before you rule out this option.
    Here at National Air Warehouse, we are committed to providing high quality HVAC equipment at affordable prices that even a ghost wouldn’t say boo about. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you heat your home this winter!

  • Start Capacitors vs Run Capacitors: What’s the Difference?

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    One of the most common reasons why an air conditioner stops working is a failed capacitor. In an air conditioning system, the capacitor is the energy storage device that holds the electrical charge needed to power the fan motor. Therefore, the failure of the capacitor means that your air conditioning system will stop blowing cold air, and a replacement is required.

    The Two Types of Capacitors

    There are two types of capacitors: run capacitors and start capacitors. Run capacitors are more common. They store the energy that is needed to keep the fan motor going so that the air conditioner continues to cool down your house. In contrast, the start capacitor specifically provides the energy needed to start up your air conditioner. As you might expect, it takes more torque to start the motor than to keep it running, so the capacitance -- that is, the energy storage capacity  -- of a start capacitor must be higher than that of a run capacitor. To understand why, think about the fan motor like a push-powered merry-go-round on a playground -- it can take considerable effort to get it started, but once it gets going, you don’t need to push as much to keep it running. Therefore, the capacitance rating for most run capacitors is between 5 and 80 Microfarads (MFD), while it typically ranges from 430 MFD to 516 MFD for start capacitors.

    Deciding What to Do When Your Capacitor Gives Out

    When the capacitor in your AC system gives out, you are faced with a decision: Should you replace the capacitor or replace the entire system? That may depend on whether the problem is with the start capacitor or the run capacitor. If the problem is with the run capacitor, replacing the capacitor often makes more sense. Depending on the MFD, the price of a run capacitor can range between less than 10 and 100 dollars, so it’s a safe investment. In most cases, replacing your run capacitor can get your system back up and running in no time!

    However, if the problem is with the start capacitor, you may want to consider replacing the system altogether. Start capacitors are larger and more expensive, and they are a lot harder to find, since most AC systems today do not have a separate start capacitor. If your system is getting old and its parts are giving out, it may be time to consider an upgrade.

     
    Whether you are looking for a replacement run capacitor, a new AC system, or any other HVAC equipment, National Air Warehouse can help you find what you need. Contact us today to learn more about all of 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!

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