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  • Heat Pump Replacement: How to Tell Your Heat Pump Needs Replacing

    Heat pump replacement Heat pump replacement

    Heat pumps allow thermal energy to move against its impulsive flow direction by applying heat absorption within a cold space and then continue movement to a warmer space. A heat pump is a mechanical device that can break down and likely needs to be replaced. Your HVAC system does not need to stop functioning completely for you to think about replacing any part of it. You will notice warning signs that will alert you when it comes time for a heat pump replacement.

    Taking Steps

    If your heat pump stops functioning altogether, then the next step is to get a replacement. However, in the meantime, there are signs that you can look for in order to consider replacing your heat pump before it completely breaks down. Let’s take a closer look at this.

    Constant Heat Pump Repairs

    If your heat pump is constantly breaking down and having to be repaired, you may have to look at heat pump replacement. In fact, if it breaks down several times within the same year, this is a sign that replacement should be the next step. If repair costs are too high, then this may call for purchasing an entire HVAC system or just a heat pump, depending on how much you will save. When your heat pump breaks down at a time that it is needed the most, then it can cause so many inconveniences. Therefore, it is wise to make sure that you hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect your system before the weather becomes cold.

    Abnormal Noises

    If you hear abnormal noises coming from your HVAC system, it may be time for heat pump replacement. All mechanical devices are designed to operate smoothly with no internal resistance or too much friction. With abnormal noises coming from the heat pump, you may have loose parts and components that have started to wear down. A professional HVAC technician will assess the situation, tracing the specific parts or components that may be loosened. This includes:

    • Depleted motors
    • Vents
    • Defective ductwork
    • Dirty filters

    The moving parts may be able to be repaired. However, if nothing changes after the repair, it may be time for a new heat pump replacement. This is the more permanent solution.

    Increased Energy Consumption

    If you notice that your energy bill is steadily increasing and you are still operating the same number of mechanical devices and appliances in your home, this could point toward energy being lost somewhere. The only time you should see an increase in energy consumption is when you add a new appliance. A professional HVAC contractor will be able to determine the cause of the increase and if the heat pump is the cause, a replacement should be done.

    Conclusion

    If you have had your heat pump for a number of years, it may be the time for a heat pump replacement. A professional HVAC contractor will assess and make the appropriate recommendations of how long you should keep your heat pump before doing an upgrade.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecolivinguk/8019127396/

  • Top Reasons to Pay Attention to your Heating System During the Summer?

    Heating System Heating System

    In every season, you should expect to have HVAC maintenance carried out in order to have your cooling and heating system working efficiently. Bear in mind, though, it does not mean that you have to focus your attention on your air conditioner unit in the summer months and the heating system in the winter. It is important to take the appropriate care of your HVAC system throughout the whole year so that it will always operate to its full capacity.

    Summer Preparation

    Yes, you may be hanging out on the beach during the summer and a heater is the farthest thing from your mind. Yet, you cannot wait until the winter is upon you before taking care of your furnace or other heating system. The season may arrive and that is when you discover problems with your heating system. It is better to approach a season, being confident that everything inside your home is working properly. Below are some of the top reasons why you cannot afford to neglect your heater during the summer.

    Don’t Regret Your Decision

    If you need to have a heater repair done as the winter comes to a close or if the heater is providing warning signals of malfunction, you may need a new heater. For this reason, you should not ignore the signs. If you don’t take immediate action, you may regret your decision. You should not wait to schedule a repair at the last minute. If so, you may be put on a waiting list and who wants to go through winter without a functional heating system? The HVAC technician needs time to inspect the situation and conduct the necessary repairs so that you can be comfortable during the winter months.

    Advanced Maintenance

    One of the things to prevent being an uncomfortable situation is putting your HVAC maintenance on a schedule with a HVAC contractor. Therefore, try to have a healthy heating system at all times by frequent maintenance. There are various tasks that are involved with furnace maintenance and some of these include cleaning dirt and dust, inspecting the air flow, lubrication of moving parts, and thermostat testing. Doing this in the summer makes you prepared for the winter.

    Heat Pump

    Heat pumps are generally used both in the winter and in the summertime. If you do not have your heat pump repaired, then the choice will also affect your air conditioner unit. You will be switching your system to cooling during the summer, but that doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore any heating issues until the winter.

    Proper Ventilation

    Both heating system and cooling system utilize the same ventilation to function, especially when your system uses forced air. For this reason, you have to keep the air ducts clean, not only to improve air quality, but also to prevent this from negatively impacting your HVAC system’s efficiency. When you have problems with your heating system, it can also result in an increase in your summer’s energy bill.

    Conclusion

    Be sure that you change your air filters on a frequent basis, even during the summer. Contact a HVAC contractor or HVAC technician today to schedule an overall check on your heating system and cooling system.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/46669634@N06/13118275535/

  • The Best Methods of Air Duct Cleaning

    Air duct cleaning Air duct cleaning

    Most of the residential and commercial buildings these days are usually erected with ventilation, HVAC, heating or air conditioning ducts. Since these are tightly assembled, it is rare that stale air or fresh air will circulate at the same time. If this occurs, then there may be accumulated pollutants in the air ducts. This will typically create air that is unhealthy for everyone living in the home. Subsequently, these same pollutants will become irritants, negatively impacting the health of the occupants of the building. In many cases, people will suffer from respiratory conditions and in other cases, the pollutants could likely cause damage to the home.

    Reducing or Eliminating Pollutants

    When you clean the HVAC air ducts, it will drastically eliminate or reduce the pollutants, creating healthier air and improving the health of the occupants. There are several suggestions for air duct cleaning. However, it is best to hire a HVAC contractor with more knowledge about the best practices for air duct cleaning. In so doing, the project will be done more properly and it will reduce the appearance of annoying rodents.

    The Disadvantage

    The disadvantage of air duct cleaning if you do this yourself is that you could ultimately damage the air ducts. So, to improve the air quality in your home, it is strongly recommended to get professional assistance. The HVAC technician will be able to tell when your next duct cleaning will be necessary. It is especially important, though, to know as much as you can about air duct cleaning so as to establish the one that is ideal for you. While you will be relying on a professional HVAC contractor, you will still have personal knowledge about what is involved and the methods used.

    Common Methods

    The most common methods used for air duct cleaning over the years is industry standard. As time goes on, advancements are being made to continue improving the methods involved in the process. However, for now, the methods employed are as such:

    • Power Vacuum or Air Sweep – this is a meticulous method of duct cleaning, although, more expensive. It does the best job of removing dirt in an extremely careful manner.
    • Point of Contact – while this may not be as thorough as the air sweep method, it is safer for the vents and air ducts. It is also less expensive, but still uses a vacuum, and spinning brush as the best cleaning tools
    • Removing the Source – this is the most common of all three methods for air duct cleaning. Mechanical agitation loosens the dirt and debris and extraction helps to remove everything entirely in a safe manner.

    Conclusion

    Methods of air duct cleaning have been around since the 1900s. However, the techniques have evolved since that time due to the work done by knowledgeable and experienced HVAC contractors. When you hire a professional HVAC technician, you stand a better chance to have improved air quality in your home.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/airductcleaning/3054209713/

  • 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.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126494946@N02/14866511080/

  • 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.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132391718@N08/16549050914/

  • Hysteresis Thermostat and What You Should Know

    Hysteresis Thermostat Hysteresis Thermostat

    Individuals get hung up over complicated terminologies like ‘hysteresis’ and more often than not, these terms can be simplified with an easy explanation that can be understood by anyone. In the same manner, hysteresis is considered an engineering terminology that is used to explain a simple ‘lag.’ It is specifically the way that a reaction lags a step or an action. Let’s take a closer look at this simple example below.

    An Example

    If you were to squeeze a piece of foam and then release it, you would hear a popping sound as if it popped back to its original form. However, it does not do so immediately. It goes back to its normal state in a slow motion. It lags this action until the release of your hands. Other forms of hysteresis are the same way.

    The Thermostat

    The common use of hysteresis is during the use of magnetic and electronic systems. Thermostats are a perfect example. Without using technical applications and definitions of hysteresis, let’s look at how it applies to thermostats. The hysteresis thermostat also goes through a similar motion; it lags inputs from the surroundings for the main purpose of saving energy as well as preventing a furnace or air conditioner from enduring wear and tear as it frequently turns on and off.

    Poor Insulation

    If you live in a house that is poorly insulated and the temperature outside is a scorching 104 degrees, your main concern is how long it will take for the heat to penetrate your house while the air conditioning unit is running. Believe it or not, this would not take long. With a good HVAC system, your house will cool to about 72 degrees, which is quite comfortable. When the insulation is insufficient, in about one minute, the temperature will increase to 73 degrees and your air conditioner will kick in again. This cycle continues to be repeated frequently as your air conditioning unit is overworking due to the poor insulation. It is, therefore, difficult to maintain the comfortable temperature in the home.

    Saving Energy

    You would not classify this thermostat as a hysteresis thermostat because of its lack of hysteresis in the programming. For that reason, it will constantly turn on and off. With a hysteresis thermostat, you can set your temperature to 72 degrees and be able to maintain it. Why? The temperature will go up to 74 degrees before cooling it to down to 71 degrees, allowing the HVAC system to relax. This saves on wear and tear and also fosters energy efficiency.

    Conclusion

    It is important to get your HVAC system working efficiently and therefore, you could consider using a hysteresis thermostat. It will definitely work in your best interest. Speak to a HVAC contractor to discuss your immediate needs.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rvthereyet/9098037736/

  • What the HVAC Contractor Thinks About the Trane and Lennox Brands

    Lennox and Trane Lennox and Trane

    If you are going to purchase an air conditioner unit or heating system, you want to do a comparison brand. In this case, let’s take a look at the Trane and the Lennox brand. Comparing these two will give you a general idea on how to compare others.

    Lennox

    Lennox provides materials and equipment that may equally compare to the competition. However, their parts are difficult to find. The competition, Trane, provides a wide range of logistics supply chains and Lennox does not since its supply chain is proprietary and does not give as many choices to the consumer. What does this mean for the consumer? Well, if you were to order replacement parts from Lennox, you would have to wait sometimes for weeks for it to arrive. If you were in need of repair, it is best to hire a professional HVAC contractor. If you sent your air conditioning unit, for example, for a Lennox repair, you would have to wait much longer for their technician to get the parts. Not that the Lennox brand will break down often. It is that when they do break down, it is difficult to handle the repair aspect.

    Expensive Brand

    On the other hand, the Lennox brand tends to be more costly than the Trane brand. Many people think that the more expensive brand is superior to the other. However, this is not necessarily true in all cases. Both brands can break down does as its competitors and none of these two seems to offer any advanced technology that the competition does not have. The point is you are looking for the best value for the money you spend as a consumer. Many consumers tend to think that the customer service offered by Lennox is poor, even though, their equipment has a warranty. They are hard to deal with and don’t have many distribution centers to handle customer complaints efficiently.

    Trane Brand

    Trane, on the other hand, does not have the issues that Lennox does. However, many consumers found that warranty payouts were hard to get. Trane and aluminum coils go hand in hand. In the past, most air conditioners were made with copper and there weren’t as many repair problems. Aluminum coil is used by Trane and other brands to reduce the cost, but it does not necessarily help the consumer in the long run. Air conditioners with copper coils are easier to fix.

    Conclusion

    The bottom line is that the HVAC contractor that you use for your air conditioning or heating system installation is far more important in comparison to the equipment brand you choose. However, at the end of the day, despite the fact that Lennox brand has a good reputation, there are too many issues that can go wrong with its HVAC system. It is best to conduct an extensive research, but even better, it would be more ideal to hire a good HVAC contractor. You cannot afford to hold back on on this part of the equation. One more point to make is that you should take care of your equipment and try to have a contractor provide regular maintenance.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/reuserecycle/19102456369/

  • 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.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aandlheatingcoolinghomeimprovements/9201677246/

  • What are the Different HVAC Systems to Consider?

    HVAC Systems HVAC Systems

    There are different HVAC systems that homeowners and business owners need to consider when choosing the system that is appropriate for their particular needs. Two such systems are the cooling only split system, cooling only packing system, heat pump, chilled water system, window air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pump.

    Split System

    What is the cooling only split system? It is a blend of outdoor condensation and indoor air handling. The unit for handling indoor air consists of a cooling coil and air supply fan as well as the expansion apparatus. The unit for condensation contains a condenser coil and compressor. These make up the split system, usually found in small commercial offices and residential homes. If you are looking for a high energy efficiency rating for your air conditioning systems, then this split system is recommended. System manufacturers have been required to increase the EER rating to offer varying degrees to accommodate various seasons. If the building requires heating, then a different method is used, but it is generally in the form of gas or electric.

    Packaged System

    The cooling only packaged system is a sole unit with a combination of the same elements in the split system. The unit has to be installed on the exterior of the building since it is packaged. The indoor air has to be ducted away from the building and enter through the utilized air distribution system. The SEER rating for the packaged system starts from 10 and goes up to 18. In a situation where heating is necessary, a different method is used, which is generally gas or electric.

    Heat Pump

    HVAC systems that offer only cooling are similar to the heat pump, but with a single exception. Heat pumps have a unique valve found in the refrigeration piping, which allows the cycle to run in the reverse. The cooling only system works by cooling the air indoors and rejecting the outdoor heat. The heat pump works by cooling the air indoors and upon reversing the valve, it can heat the air indoors.

    Window Air Conditioners

    An air conditioner unit installed in a window or customarily in the opening of a wall is usually accommodated by some homeowners and business owners. This option should be the last resort since a window unit only cools a small and confined space.

    Packaged Terminal Heat Pump

    The window air conditioner unit and the packaged terminal heat pump are quite similar in features. They are installed through a wall opening and are self-contained, requiring electrical connection. The downside is the noise that is emitted and the high operating cost.

    Conclusion

    Choose from the list of HVAC systems wisely. You can receive recommendations from an experienced HVAC contractor before you go ahead and purchase one. You will also need help from an HVAC contractor to install your system.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/54800102@N08/5923527935/

  • 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.

    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/62889725@N08/16216429719/

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