Is your home energy efficient?
Sure, you’ve got the energy efficient appliances. You’ve got the energy efficient light bulbs. You’ve even got green ethernet for crying out loud. But what about the single largest energy-user in the house? Your HVAC system.
Even with the very best home construction and design — and even that fancy schmancy refrigerator — if a qualified HVAC contractor hasn’t been consulted with regard to the efficiency of your unit relative to the uniqueness of your home, you’re probably spinning your wheels… and your electricity meter.
So, how’d this happen? How’d we get to a place where windows and washing machines are more highly scrutinized than your home’s air conditioner?
The short story is this: The pioneers of energy efficiency came primarily from government-funded weatherization programs around four decades ago. Others began with solar water heaters — a result of the … Continue reading
When it comes to indoor humidity levels, everyone has their own preference for what feels most comfortable. Generally, a relative humidity level from 35-50 percent is optimal for comfort — not to mention preventing the growth of microorganisms.
Ideal Indoor Relative Humidity Levels by Outdoor Temperature
Depending on personal preferences, the most comfortable indoor humidity level will vary from one household to the next. The following temperatures will give you a general idea of where to keep your indoor relative humidity levels:
• For outdoor temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 50 percent.
• For outdoor temperatures over 20 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 40 percent.
• For outdoor temperatures between 10-20 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 35 percent.
• For outdoor temperatures between 0-10 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 30 percent.
… Continue reading
With temperatures dropping, your air conditioner is likely the last thing on your mind. What many homeowners don’t know is that fall is an ideal time to purchase a new air conditioning system. Below are a few advantages to buying a new air conditioner now instead of waiting until next cooling season, along with tips for protecting your unit at winter approaches.
Avoid installation delays.
The average lifespan for an air conditioning system is approximately 15 years, although it can vary based on usage, maintenance, and environmental factors. If your current air conditioner is nearing or past this mark, you should probably expect to replace your unit in the next few years, if not sooner. Purchasing a new system now instead of waiting will prepare you for next cooling season, and set you up for lower cooling bills.
When you buy an air conditioner in the summer months, you may … Continue reading
The concept of a “preseason” can be misleading.
Preseasons are, more often than not, a ploy by the air-conditioning industry utilized as a means for giving their technicians something to do during the slow periods during the year. And, while it’s not necessarily a bad thing to get ahead of the game — especially at a discount — the outdoor temperatures prior to the season may be outside the parameters needed to accurately check the refrigerant charge in your air-conditioner.
If it’s too cool outside and there is no load “cool inside” your house, the saturation temperature may be too low and the load on the equipment too low to accurately check your refrigerant charge. If the system doesn’t have a history of refrigerant leaks, then a glance may be adequate and you may also be able to include a furnace/heat pump maintenance thanks to the mild … Continue reading
By Will Housh, HVAC.com
When it comes to HVAC maintenance, how you maintain the areas surrounding your equipment can be just as important as the maintenance of the actual systems. Poor maintenance in the immediate areas surrounding your air conditioner or furnace could decrease system efficiency, damage components, and even put your family in danger. Follow these HVAC maintenance tips to protect your heating and cooling equipment.
- Keep the exterior condenser unit or heat pump clear of items. You should leave a clearance of at least two feet surrounding the unit. This will facilitate proper airflow, and allow access to the unit should repairs be required. Never install an enclosure directly against the unit. Outdoor items should never be stored surrounding the unit.
- Local building codes require gas furnaces and other gas appliances maintain a clearance from the floor and surrounding walls. Space should be left for many … Continue reading
Are you tempted to choose the low bid for your HVAC project?
Consider this: If the electrical in your home or business goes to the low bidder, you may have fewer outlets and the cord for your vacuum may not reach this room or that corner. Maybe your light fixtures are junk and changing a light bulb becomes a pain.
If your plumbing goes to the low bidder, you may need an extra water hose to reach the tree you just planted. Your tub or your sink may drain a little slower than you’d like and you may be replacing fixtures before you thought you should.
But, if your heating and air-conditioning goes to the low bidder? Your system may not be installed correctly, sized correctly, or charged correctly. Your duct system may be a mess and your indoor blower may not be set to match the duct system and … Continue reading
What is a “SEER” rating?
Homeowners and contractors, alike, are generally confounded by that little acronym. So, let’s start with the basics:
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.
All things being equal, the higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the air-conditioner.
Ok, cool, but how high is high enough?
The reality is the answer provided to homeowners is almost always incomplete – and, thus, often incorrect.
Think of this way: The most efficient air-conditioner is one that isn’t running at all. The least efficient air-conditioner is one that runs continually and never adequately cools the home. In between, you will find shades and shades of gray.
So, let’s use an acronym that we’re all familiar with – consider the SEER rating the same way you do the MPG rating for your vehicle – but, instead of miles per gallon, we’re using BTUs per watt. Clear as mud?
… Continue reading
It can be difficult to block out the noise—and ignore all of the billboards—when trying to choose the right HVAC company to service, repair, or replace your equipment. How do you know you’re making the right decision?
Ultimately, like most big choices in life, it’ll eventually come down to simply going with your gut and choosing someone you feel like you can trust. Prior to that moment of truth, however, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure that you’ve arrived at the right place.
We hope this helps!
Pop quiz: Can you name arguably the most unlikely source of sustainability for Air-Dynamics over the past two decades?
Answer: the basement bidder.
That might be surprising for obvious reasons, but, for a shop that has quite literally built itself from the ground up on positive word-of-mouth from satisfied customers, the basement bidder – the company that intentionally comes in well below market value to ensure that they win the bid – actually creates work for us.
Why? C’mon, you know the answer to this. “You get what you pay for,” right? It’s true for vehicles, appliances, and fishing poles – and it’s also true for heating & air-conditioning systems. The work of that basement bidder will need to be repaired and/or replaced in embarrassingly short order, and that’s where we come in.
The quality of our work speaks for itself, and that simple fact that we work tirelessly to … Continue reading
The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,” then brags about getting a bargain” (Proverbs 20:14).
The new 410A environmentally friendly refrigerants operate at double the pressure of the old R22. The oil used is hydroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture readily. Moisture is the enemy to the internal function of an HVAC system. While R22 required a 500-micron vacuum, the 410A requires a 300-micron vacuum. The deeper, longer vacuum requires equipment capable of handling the job. If the appropriate vacuum is not achieved, the system will run and act the same, but the lifespan of the equipment will diminish significantly.
So when the technician drives away and you’re boasting that you got it cheaper… Did you?