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  • Commercial and Residential HVAC System Comparison

    Commercial HVAC System Commercial HVAC System

    There are a wide range of HVAC systems, but the two main ones are commercial HVAC system and residential HVAC system. Residential systems are used in people’s homes and commercial systems are used in major retail stores, warehouses, office buildings, and other large buildings.

    Both Systems

    Both of these systems have similar functions such as ventilation, heating, and cooling. However, they do have just a few differences such as:

    • Size
    • Power
    • Drainage
    • Location
    • Complexity
    • Manufacture
    • Features

    There are HVAC companies that do specialize in commercial and residential systems. There are others that only specialize in cooling systems or heating systems. This will help to explain the reasons for the services being different. Some of the differences have exceptions, but they are mostly the same. Let’s take a closer look.

    The Complexity

    Due to the size and complexity of the commercial HVAC system, it has to be installed on the building’s roof. The reason is to ensure adaptability and space. The type of commercial system chosen will depend on various factors such as the number of occupants in the building, the varying temperatures, scheduled events and the number of hours the business operates. Other factors include items being sold, type of inventory, and number of windows in the building.

    The Size

    Of course, the commercial HVAC system is going to be larger than the residential system. This is a visible difference and the reason is that one heats and cools a larger space. So, the size will be different between the two and so will the power. The thermostats and dampers are also different in size and scope.

    The Location

    Residential HVAC systems are usually found at the side of a house. In some cases, you may find it in someone’s backyard. On the other hand, commercial HVAC systems are located in either swamp coolers or roof of a building as mentioned before. The roof tends to be the most common installation area chosen by most HVAC contractors. Why? Here are some reasons:

    • The indoor space is needed to conduct business in a commercial aspect and so a large HVAC system would only take up too much indoor space. It also can be less attractive if placed inside the building and more importantly, it functions better when installed on the roof
    • A commercial system would be too noisy and could be a disruption to business
    • It is easy to maintain on the roof. HVAC technicians can do repair and maintenance work without disrupting the business day
    • Vandalism and damages will be at a minimum because of less traffic on the roof where the commercial HVAC system is located

    Conclusion

    It is important to have a HVAC contractor to handle the maintenance of your air conditioning unit or heating system. It is still your responsibility, however, to make sure that you call a professional when it is necessary and before any malfunctioning occurs.

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  • A Look at HVAC Maintenance for Each Season

    HVAC Maintenance HVAC Maintenance

    One of the poignant facts in life is that nothing is perfect and that includes your HVAC system. One day, everything may begin to fall apart. Therefore, landlords and homeowners alike have one main responsibility and that is to make sure that the tenants or family members can live inside the building comfortably all throughout the year. What does this mean? It means that your home or apartment will be kept cool during the warm months and whenever you need to have air conditioning unit turned on.

    The Truth

    One more regrettable truth about this is that HVAC maintenance and repair needs to have specialized expertise and skills as well as necessary equipment that many homeowners and landlords do not have. For that reason, you are going to need the services of a HVAC repair contractor. The trick about saving money is to schedule an appointment with a HVAC contractor as soon as possible. You cannot procrastinate, but you must know when to make that phone call.

    Do Not Procrastinate

    If you wait too long, or until the AC system is broken, then you may have to wait for weeks or days to get the contractor to come to your home. Remember, these specialists are always busy serving other clients. Below are some suggestions on when you should call the technician so your system can run smoothly all year round. Let’s look at the different seasons.

    The Summer Time

    During the summer, you will definitely need your AC. It is important to get preventative maintenance done during the spring so that you don’t encounter any problems during the summertime. If your air conditioning unit is running, but it is not doing so efficiently, you may want to have the air filters changed and get rid of dust in and around your AC unit. Otherwise, you should solicit the services of a HVAC technician to see what the problem is.

    During the Fall

    As summer ends, the temperature will begin to drop. This is the ideal time to contact an HVAC contractor to inspect your heating and furnace system. The goal is to try to apply preventative measures prior to waiting until issues arise. Furnaces are like any equipment. They need frequent tune up. This is the perfect time, too, to ensure that you have enough filters for your furnace and that they are changed as needed.

    Winter Weather

    There are not many things that are more risky and uncomfortable than to be inside a home with no heat during the winter. While you may have had preventative maintenance done on your heating system, something can still go wrong. Make sure you have the phone number of a reputable HVAC technician that you can call on a moment’s notice.

    The Springtime

    A reasonable time to contact an HVAC contractor is in the middle of spring. At this time, the contractor will look at your HVAC system to see what kind of preventative measures need to be performed. The HVAC contractor may conduct a check and balance on your refrigerant levels, replace filters and clean your system.

    Conclusion

    Lucky for homeowners, most of the HVAC problems can be fixed. However, these problems will usually need specialized skill. Always include your HVAC contractor when heating and cooling system issues arise, no matter the season.

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  • How Natural Disasters can Adversely Affect your HVAC System

    HVAC system HVAC system

    Even though, you may be keenly concerned about your uprooted trees, windows, and roofing system, after you have experienced a natural disaster, your HVAC system could also be in jeopardy. Once the natural disaster passes and your electricity is restored, it is crucial that you become familiar with the ways that a storm or hurricane could damage or destroy your HVAC system.

    Lightning Effect

    When lightening does strike, it can adversely affect your air conditioning or cooling system since this relies on electricity in the home to function properly. When the electricity is disrupted, it could cause issues to your air conditioning system. The additional power resulting from a lightning strike could flood the circuit breaker in your home. It could damage electronics and appliances. It would be recommended that you install a surge protector prior to any natural disaster. This can absorb most of the electricity before it can damage anything in your home. A surge protector is also important in saving your HVAC equipment.

    Hail Effect

    When a tornado strikes, it comes with high winds, but also lightening. Hail, on the other hand, could follow a tornado or severe storm. It comes with heavy pelts that could subsequently damage your HVAC system. To protect the fragile parts of the condenser coil, it would be ideal to install a hail cover over the air conditioning unit. It may not deflect everything since small debris can go through the guard, lodging in the equipment. When this happens, you should contact an HVAC contractor for some assistance before even making an attempt at using your air conditioning again.

    Water Damage

    A storm or hurricane comes with lightening and heavy rains, causing water damage. In fact, when the storm hits an area, its slow movement could cause a significant amount of water to accumulate in your yard and around your HVAC system. Debris and grass could wash into the HVAC unit as water rises.

    Conclusion

    Before you experience severe weather, it would be an excellent idea to contact an HVAC contractor to inspect your outside HVAC unit. The HVAC professional would make sure that the unit is elevated to a height to keep out as much standing water as possible. You could also consider placing a mesh cover over the condensing unit. The mesh cover will be able to keep water from heavy rains from getting inside the unit. Always be mindful, though, that you should remove the mesh cover when you want to use your air conditioning unit. If you don’t, it will block the air flow.

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  • Comparing Packaged and Split Air Conditioner System

    Air Conditioner Unit Air Conditioner Unit

    You may own an air conditioning unit in your home or business, but might not understand how it operates, especially when it comes to receiving savings on energy. What exactly is all this talk about split air conditioner, you may be wondering? Well, a split unit depends on the amount of space that is available in your house. The split air conditioner unit consumes more space; let’s say than the packaged air conditioning unit. This does not mean that you would fare better with the packaged air conditioner.

    The Structure

    The structure of the house has to be in question when choosing the right air conditioner unit. The most common choice for many homeowners is the split air conditioning system. Simply put, the two main categories of central air conditioners are packaged air conditioners and split air conditioners. Therefore, it is one choice or the other. They both work in a similar manner, using refrigerant expansion to quickly cool the coil, which subsequently cools down the air that is passing over the same coil.

    The Set Up

    There is a difference, though, between the packaged and split systems. The difference is based on the precise set up of each. Similar to a vehicle, if the engine has to be placed in the front, then it is labeled a front engine vehicle. If the engine has to be placed in the back, then it is labeled as a rear engine vehicle. Even though, they are both vehicles and works in a similar manner by having a combustible engine, they have different labels based on the way that they are structurally set up. The same is true for the packaged and split air conditioner. Let’s take a closer look.

    The Parts

    The split air conditioning unit is made up of two detached units, the evaporative coil and the condensing unit. That is how the split air conditioner unit received its name. The split unit is joined by a series of copper tubing, which transports the refrigerant from the evaporative coil to the condensing unit.  If you notice two parts on your air conditioner, then your A/C is a split system. The condensing unit is usually found on the outside while the evaporative coil is inside. On the other hand, if your air conditioning unit has one part on the roof with ductwork installed into the roof, then it is obvious that your A/C is a packaged system.

    The Size

    Both the packaged and split air conditioner system has different sizes. The split air unit is about three times in size to that of the packaged unit, considering all their combined parts. The split air unit is cheaper and easier to fix and also to maintain. They are usually much quieter when in operation than the least quiet packaged unit.

    Conclusion

    To decide which type of air conditioner system you should consider, it is best to speak to an HVAC contractor. If you want to replace your current A/C system, it is also recommended that you seek professional guidance.

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  • Why is it so Important to have the Right Size Air Conditioner Unit?

    Central Air Conditioner Central Air Conditioner

    There are several facets of a central air conditioner when it comes to its impact on efficiency and more importantly, the size of the unit. The type of insulation you have in place and the height of the ceiling can also plays an integral part to the extent of how your home is cooled.

    Technical Ranting

    Many HVAC technicians often tend to go off on technical ranting if you were to ask the question: “Why is it so important to have the right size air conditioner unit?” They may want to explain R values and load calculations, which you can understand is the precise details that they received in training. However, most homeowners and business owner will want to hear the explanation in layman terms instead of the technicalities.

    Size Matters

    It is safe to say that the size of your air conditioner does matter. Bigger does not mean that it will be better. This has always been the common misconception by many outside of the HVAC field. It is not conventional wisdom either to think that if a 3 ton A/C unit works well, the 4 ton A/C unit could do the same. Of course, this concept was on the basis of the older central A/C units that were used in the 1980s. These air conditioners used up a lot of energy, even though, they had the capacity to cool a large arena in fifteen minutes. One thing to remember is that during those years, electricity was cheaper than it is today. In addition, there was minimal insulation at the time too.

    Energy Efficiency

    Today, there is a heavy reliance on energy efficiency in the modern central AC units, which operate in cycles as it slowly and steadily lowers the temperature in the home. It is no longer necessary to rapidly run your air conditioner in cycles. If you purchase an air conditioning system that is overly big for the house, then it is going to operate in the same efficiency as did older systems in the 1980s. It will quickly turn on and cool the house at the same space and then it will shut off. Yes, the house will still be cool, but soon after, heat will infiltrate the house because the air conditioner was not able to finish the full cycle that it was specifically designed for. For that reason, you would have to turn it on again, which is what will increase your electric bill.

    Smaller A/C

    If the AC unit is too small, then it will constantly run as it tries to get caught up with where it should actually be. Again, you will have a cool house, but not to the capacity that your AC unit was meant to cool the entire home.  More importantly, it will be more difficult to cool the whole house and your energy efficiency will be reduced.

    Conclusion

    With the appropriate sized air conditioner, you can guarantee that the entire cycle will run, ultimately cooling your house and improving efficiency. In the summer months, the right central air conditioner unit size is extra important. Speak to your local HVAC contractor to find out which size would best suit your home or business.

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  • Factors to Consider in Making an Air Conditioning Brand Selection

    AC Brand AC Brand

    It is quite difficult for someone to feel comfortable during the summer months without having air conditioning in the home. It is also difficult when your air conditioning unit breaks down and you don’t know a good HVAC contractor to call for repair services. It is even more difficult when you have upgrade plans for the home and are getting ready to purchase a central AC unit, not having a clue on which brand to purchase.

    The Pros and Cons

    Each air conditioning brand comes with different pros and cons. Even for a specialist or expert in the industry, it is a tossup at times to suggest the ideal brand for a customer without first inspecting the home and discussing the client’s needs. There are several critical aspects to consider when choosing the right AC brand whether you are upgrading or making your first purchase.

    Longevity

    When you are trying to select the ideal air conditioning brand, lifespan and longevity should be your first concern. You want to buy an AC unit that can stand the test of time and still operate efficiently over a number of years. The earlier AC systems will tend to last longer, usually about twenty years. However, the advancement and development of more sophisticated systems and mass production may not hold true to the same longevity of the past. For example, you may find the thermostat on one AC brand works better than on another. Contact a HVAC contractor with the knowledge and experience to advise you on which of the AC brands will last longer and work more efficiently. It is good to also note that most air conditioners that are the most recent models will come with five year warranty on servicing of parts, labor and compressors.

    Energy Efficiency

    Even if durability is not one of the advantages of newer models of air conditioner units, energy efficiency tends to be an area of strength. This could be due to the interest that consumers now have in energy saving devices. Manufacturers have answered the call in making appliances with the energy star score in mind. Most of the leading AC brands have up to a seven star rating. This significantly reduces the amount of energy air conditioning units required for use. So, when you are looking to choose the best brand, pay attention to the energy star score. This will help you to save on your utility.

    The Features

    Look for the features on the brand that you are interested in. Some of these features will give you a better cooling performance. This could include:

    • Inverter
    • Compressor size
    • Timer control to preset the on and off times
    • Thermostat
    • Zoning – dividing the home into different zones
    • Advanced and sophisticated climate control to regulate the temperature in each room
    • WiFi and remote access to turn on the air conditioner several minutes before getting home

    Conclusion

    When selecting your AC brand, you should also consider the reputation of the company and if there will be any additional support offered after your purchase. Most of the well-known brands are Toshiba, Samsung, Mitsubishi and Carrier. However, consult with your HVAC contractor before you make the purchase.

     

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  • Common HVAC Problems to Look For

    HVAC System HVAC System

    When homeowners experience problems with their air conditioning unit and heating systems, it calls for finances to make the repairs. It also involves the time it takes to fix the problem. However, when there is experienced and knowledgeable assistance, the result is improved efficiency. It is very critical to seek the help of a reputable HVAC contractor with the expertise necessary to resolve the issue in a fast, affordable and effective manner. When your HVAC system needs to be repaired, it can truly create havoc in the home. Below are some common problems that you may encounter, which will need professional help.

    Air Conditioning Unit

    A central air conditioning unit is the ideal option to keep the entire house much cooler and more comfortable. The common problem associated with an AC unit is the compressor’s failure to turn on. In addition, you may not feel cool air coming from the AC, which may be caused by insufficient air flow. If your AC unit is leaking water, it is also time to call a HVAC contractor.

    Furnaces

    All homeowners should be aware that a furnace should be serviced on an annual basis, if you want to have it properly functioning. If not, you may encounter problems. If parts need to be replaced, it is best to obtain the assistance of a qualified HVAC technician to install a new one, maintaining efficient operation of your furnace.

    Heat Pumps

    For your heat pumps, you should have a regular maintenance system, which can be provided by a HVAC contractor or HVAC company. In doing so, the heat pump will function at a higher comfort level.

    Air Handler

    The air handler is an important component of the HVAC system where it moves air efficiently and easily around the home. When this part is not working, your system will malfunction.

    Boiler System

    To keep your water heater operating at its peak, the boiler system also has to be properly and frequently maintained.

    Thermostat Control

    Your thermostat is essential to circulating heat and cool air within the home. You must know how to set the temperature to get the most energy efficiency. If your thermostat malfunctions, this objective won’t be met. So, make sure that it is good working condition. If flawed, you may need to call a HVAC contracting company.

    Conclusion

    Other problems that you may encounter are the leaking of your refrigerant, dirty air filters or clogging of your drain pipe clogged. Many of the common problems with your heating system and air conditioning unit are as a result of faulty installation, and poor or no maintenance. You can easily have your HVAC system working throughout the year by having regular maintenance from an HVAC service professional.

     

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  • Issue that Regular Air Conditioning Maintenance Can Solve

    A/C Maintenance A/C Maintenance

    As with any equipment or appliance in the home, the air conditioner is a system that will ultimately need to be repaired due to wear and tear from being used regularly and possibly due to its age. When an air conditioning unit starts to lose its efficiency and capacity, most owners will be at a loss of what to do; whether to spend money on A/C repair or purchase a new air conditioning unit.

    Efficiency and Comfort

    Air conditioning maintenance is important throughout the life of your unit if you want to enjoy optimum efficiency, savings and comfort. In the meantime, it is best to take several preventative steps to avoid certain air conditioning problems, reducing recurring issues and allowing you and your family to enjoy the proper functioning of your A/C unit.

    Finding a Solution

    Air conditioning maintenance is essential to identifying problems and finding the right solution. First, though, you have to be aware of the common problems that could arise with your air conditioning unit. That way, you will know when to call an HVAC technician to assist you.

    Common Problems

    If your AC unit is not cooling as it should be, there is obviously a problem that you have to possibly repair. There are several things that could cause the AC unit from cooling:

    • It could be that debris or dirt has restricted the flow of air, resulting in blockage and therefore, a decline in the cooling capacity. The best solution for this is to do a periodic check of your AC filters, cleaning them or replacing them as frequent as every three months or according to the recommendations from the manufacturer. You could also schedule air conditioning maintenance with an experienced, professional and reputable HVA contractor.
    • Another possible cause for your AC not cooling properly is clogging of the heat exchanger. This subsequently results in the reduction of efficiency. The HVAC contractor, if called, would clean your radiator, but would first plug out the AC for safety.
    • In addition, your AC unit needs the right amount of refrigerant gas to operate properly. If not, then the excess heat in the room cannot be removed. The HVAC technician will identify if there is any leakage of refrigerant gas and may suggest that you schedule air conditioning maintenance to keep this from happening again.

    Other problems to look out for are the inconsistency of your run cycles, which could result from debris or dirt in your air conditioning unit. The dirt will cause the temperature sensor to rapidly cool and result in longer or shorter run cycle. The evaporator coils could also be affected.

    Conclusion

    An HVAC technician will check for corrosion in the plugs, terminals or wires of your air conditioning unit, inspecting also for electrical issues in the connections. If you believe that there is a problem with your AC, contact a professional AC technician for air conditioning maintenance.

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  • Myths about Air Conditioning and Heating

    Air Conditioning Unit Air Conditioning Unit

    Air conditioning and heating are essential to a person’s comfort. It is also important to energy efficiency. Therefore, if you have a heating and air conditioning system, it is best that they cover these two things. If you really want to know the facts about HVAC, then you also have to become aware of some of the common myths that people have spread as it relates to your A/C and heating system. Let’s explore some of these myths.

    Temperature Adjustment

    Some people will say that temperature adjustment to your A/C unit and heating system is not necessary when you leave your house. However, this is not true. Paying attention to the temperature is important if you want to save on your utility bill. To save on energy during the winter months, it is best to lower the temperature and during the summer months, the opposite is true. You could invest in a thermostat that you can set to automatically adjust on schedule.

    Regular Maintenance

    Some homeowners don’t place a lot of emphasis on regular maintenance of their HVAC system. However, this is necessary if you want your units to last you for a longer period of time and operate efficiently. Don’t wait until your HVAC system breaks down to call a contractor. If your system is properly and regularly maintained, it could save you the headache.

    Higher Temperatures

    Don’t believe the myth that if you turn up the heater temperature, the entire house will heat up faster. The same thing is true for your air conditioning unit. The temperature will reach to the desired threshold in the same time period, no matter what you set it at. So, don’t waste your energy by setting it at high temperatures.

    Standing Fans

    Some people believe that using both the standing fan and air conditioner unit will lower the energy used. That is not true. Fans only circulate air and not keep the area cool. Therefore, the energy expended to circulate air carries no weight, if you are looking to cool your home. Moreover, you would be using unnecessary energy to operate the fans.

    Flexibility

    An A/C is not only beneficial if you want to keep an area of your home cool. No, an air conditioning unit does much more. In fact, it helps to lower the humidity in the air, making cooling more effective.

    Using Space Heaters

    There are people who genuinely think that the use of space heaters in a few rooms is less costly than operating a gas heater. A space heater only heats up a small portion of the space in comparison to your gas heating system. The best option is to have one heating system in a home instead of several space heaters.

    Conclusion

    If you have any issues with your air conditioning system or heating system, it is best to get the facts from a reputable and experienced HVAC contractor and not listen to what others say. Before making any decisions as it relates to your A/C and heater, it is best to speak to a professional.

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  • What is the best Central Air Conditioner brand?

    Central Air Conditioner Unit Central Air Conditioner Unit

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    If you are an HVAC contractor or specialist, you should have all the products in your inventory necessary to do a heating and cooling system installation. The only time the manufacturer should be involved is when they are creating and testing the product. Air conditioners and furnaces take thousands of dollars in tools to repair or replace. This means that the contractor has to invest in tools to get the job done right. Now, an experienced contractor who has done installations over and over again will know the ins and outs of the HVAC system and what brands are the best and which ones aren’t. Do you agree? It makes sense! It would be safe to say then that the contractor is the middle man when it comes to HVAC parts and products.

    The Recommendation

    What if your central air conditioner broke down or wasn’t performing? You would call on a HVAC contractor to advise you if replacement is necessary and if it is, which brand is best to purchase. That would be the wise thing to do since you don’t know yourself. The contractor is the expert since you may not be able to reach the manufacturer directly for the appropriate solution. In that case, the recommendation should come from the middle man who is the HVAC contractor. You could rely on reviews and testimonials from customers who have purchased the product, but they don’t have hands-on experience and knowledge of the makeup of the air conditioner unit and what it takes to operate it.

    The Most Popular

    While several brands of air conditioner units exist, most of them are manufactured by a handful of well known companies and not necessarily a wide range of companies. The most popular brands of air conditioner units are:

    • Carrier
    • Trane
    • Lennox
    • Goodman
    • Rheem
    • York
    • Maytag and Westinghouse

    The Stand Outs

    Most people would recommend the Maytag because of its years on the market and its selling points such as how quietly it runs and its efficiency. Its SEER ratings are up to a 25.5 level and its EER ratings are up to a level of 15 if you take the cooling capacity into consideration. Lennox, Trane and Carrier are all regarded fairly well by HVAC contractors and many consumers. It may have to do with the reputation of the company and its policies as it relates to qualified and quality installation. All three of these companies are very particular about their product installation, being selective as to which HVAC contractor does the installation. Lennox boasts an efficiency rating level of up to 26 SEER. Carrier does the same thing at a rating of 21 SEER. Trane is a hot competitor with also a 21 SEER rating.

    Conclusion

    So, it is safe to say that Carrier, Lennox and Trane are the better brands and have received national coverage to prove that they are products to contend with. However, when you get ready to change out your air conditioner unit, speak to a qualified HVAC contractor for the best recommendation and solution.

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