HVAC

What is HVAC?

HVACРheating, ventilation, and air conditioning- It is a system that provides different types of heating and cooling services to residential and commercial buildings. Its function is to provide thermal comfort, humidity control and acceptable indoor air quality.

What is ENERGY STAR?

ENERGY STAR is a program that was created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help businesses and individuals make energy efficient purchases.

This program places the ENERGY STAR label, a small blue and white logo, on items that meet superior energy efficiency standards. This label provides an easy way for consumers to identify quality, high-efficiency products.

What manufacturer makes the best air conditioners?

Air conditioning is a matured technology, so most of the popular brands work well. Many of them use parts made by the same manufacturers. So, the main considerations are the price, warranty, attractiveness, noise, etc. Some manufacturers offer anywhere from a 10-12 year warranty on all parts while others offer only 1 year.

Whatever you decide, the most important consideration is the contractor you use. For your protection, make sure you use a licensed contractor for your installation. A licensed contractor using best refrigerant practices and procedures can save you time and money! You may buy the best system in the world but if it is not properly installed, you will actually be buying nothing but a big headache for years to come.

What are the benefits of air conditioning?

The benefits of air conditioning are to give a comfortable environment at work or at home throughout the seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

An Air Conditioning unit can have two functions ‚Äď heating/cooling and¬†humidity¬†control. With an auto changeover switch on most new units, you set the temperature and the unit will cool or heat as required automatically.

What is the average life of a system?

Most systems have a lifetime of 10 to 15 years, with gas furnaces lasting 20-25 years. As your equipment gets older, its efficiency can decrease dramatically. You may notice that it gets noisier and needs repairs more often.

If you live near bodies of water or the ocean, your system’s life expectancy may be drastically shortened due to the harsh environment. If your system is over 10 years old, you should have your system checked for maintenance or replacement.

 

What is a Heat Pump?

A Heat Pump is an all-in-one heating and air conditioning system that works year-round to keep you comfortable.

During warmer months, a¬†heat pump¬†works as a normal¬†air conditioner. It extracts heat from inside the home and transfers it to the outdoor air. In colder weather, however, the process reverses‚ÄĒthe unit collects heat from the outdoor air and transfers it inside your home.

Even when the air outside feels extremely cold, the air still contains some heat. The heat pump pulls the heat from this cold outdoor air and sends it inside to warm your home. When there’s not enough heat in the outside air to meet the demand of the thermostat setting, an electric heater supplements the outdoor air to warm the home. Extremely efficient, this process produces two to three times more heat than the energy it uses.

However, keep in mind, if you do not use much heat and you are thinking about replacing your system, a heat pump is more expensive to purchase up front and you will only receive a return on the heating portion of your investment when the system is in the heat mode. Additional electrical requirements may also come into play when switching to a straight cool/electric heat system.

What is an Air Handler?
An air handler is usually a large metal box containing a blower, heating or cooling elements, filter racks or chambers, sound attenuators, and dampers. Air handlers usually connect to a ductwork ventilation system that distributes the conditioned air through the building and returns it to the AHU. In some instances, with a ductless mini or multi-split the air handler may NOT require a duct system at all, therefore the name, ductless.
What is an BTU?
BTU¬†stands for British Thermal Unit, this unit of measure is used to measure cooling or heating¬†capacity; 1¬†BTU¬†is the amount of heat required to raise (or lower) the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree¬†Fahrenheit. There are 12,000¬†BTU‘s in 1¬†Ton¬†of Cooling.
What is S.E.E.R.?
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It measures air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency, which is calculated by the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same time frame. A higher SEER rating means greater energy efficiency.
How can I tell if my heating system is working efficiently?

When you schedule your regular maintenance visit with a qualified heating technician, they will test your system to make sure it is running at optimal levels. But there are some ways you can determine whether or not your system is working efficiently on your own. Abnormally high heating bills are one of the indicators that your system is running at low efficiency levels, but keep in mind that how well your home is insulated and sealed and whether your filters are clean will also play a role in heating costs.

You can also tell by how warm your house stays throughout the winter. If some rooms are colder than others, or if you find that you are turning up the thermostat more often, your heating system may not be running very efficiently. Check your thermostat setting. Is your heating system achieving the desired temperature setting you are requesting on the thermostat? If not, call one of our HVAC professionals to inspect and test your heater.

Should I repair or replace my system?

There are five main questions that need to be considered when deciding to either replace or repair your heating and cooling system:

  1. How old is your system? If your system is more than ten years old, it may be wiser to invest in new, higher efficiency equipment, which could cut your energy costs by up to 40%.
  2. What is the efficiency level of your current system?
  3. What was the efficiency when the system was new? Unfortunately, replacing parts of your old system will not improve efficiency. If the energy savings of using a higher efficiency system will cover all or part of the cost of investing in new equipment, you should seriously consider the replacement of the old system.
  4. What is the overall condition of your system? If your system is in solid condition, it could be wiser to simply repair it. But if your system breaks down often, you should consider replacing it. Consider the 50% Rule.
  5. The 50% Rule- If the cost of repair vs. replacement of your system is less than half of its value and you haven’t been suffering the financial burden of frequent service calls to keep your system up and running, repair may be easier on your checkbook. Ask your technician to calculate the efficiency and energy usage of your system to help make a determination.
What goes into Installing a New System?

Putting a new system in a home that has not had central air and heat before will require the installation of ductwork, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil. Beyond equipment, the most important component installed with a new system, however, is the duct-work.

Duct-work is composed of two parts, the supply and return. The supply duct is attached to the outflow of the new system, delivering air to each zone in a home. The amount of air reaching each zone is determined by the size of supply duct-work connecting it to your system. Your dealer will help you determine the size of all the supply duct-work in your home.

The second part of the duct-work, the return duct, attaches to the inlet of the new system and draws air out of the spaces to be heated or cooled. Attached to the return duct is the filter. The filter should be placed as near to the furnace or air handler as possible. Duct-work can be either fiberglass or metal and must be properly sized in order to evenly distribute the proper amount of air to each room.

Plumbing

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