Getting Efficient With Air Cooling And Heating

No one likes paying more than required for their energy bills. But severalĀ  residents do shell out more on their utility bills than they must. To these people’s delight, the HVAC industry is tirelessly working on bringing more energy-efficient technologies to all homes.

Better technology may be expensive to make and procure. But, with time, the lower monthly bills would offset the initial cost. And after that, the technology would pay for itself, increasing your savings in the process. Whether it’s via new heating and cooling methods or smart technology, the HVAC space is continually innovating and improving.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Central air conditioning and heating isn’t the only way to control temperature. A heat pump, which instead of cooling or heating air by itself, moves air between a source and your house like a refrigerator. An even better alternative is a geothermal heat pump.

A geothermal heat pump uses the soil, which is a few feet under the ground, to transfer heat. This soil stays at a fairly constant temperature (50-60 degrees usually) throughout the year. During summer, heat from within your house gets transferred to the ground, with the refrigerant getting cooled by the soil. During winter, heat gets drawn into your house from the ground.

A geothermal system’s efficiency can be attributed to its native heat or cold source. Such a reliable source means less wasted energy. These systems also need minimal maintenance, which is another benefit.

Ductless Systems

A ductless or mini-split system is a temperature control method that gets rid of the duct system and the associated issues. Instead of distributing air with ducts, refrigerant gets pumped inside the air handler directly, where fans blow cooled or heated air directly to a room. As you would not be worrying anymore about hooking the handler up with the ducts, the handlers can be positioned pretty much anywhere inside a room (and kept outside rooms that do not require regular temperature control). The temperature of different rooms could be customized.

With ducts out of the picture, preventing air from getting wasted in rooms underused, and letting you customize your temperature control, ductless setups are among the most efficient cooling and heating techniques in the industry.

Energy-Analysis Software

“HVAC load” could be produced by measuring and assessing every living space. The load determines the kind or size of HVAC system space requires. Unfortunately, several HVAC setups are installed in structures without considering their load requirements. These undersized or oversized systems, as a result, squander money and energy.

To address problems like this, Trane has devised an energy-analysis tool that can accurately ascertain the right HVAC system size for any given space. The tool is used prior to installing an HVAC setup in a new building and before replacing an original system.

The software helps engineers and architects find the correct HVAC equipment for a given space. It makes sure your cooling and heating would be efficient right from the word go. In other words, the HVAC would be fitted perfectly to your building’s requirements, ensuring minimal loss of energy.

Smart Thermostats

Smart homes are all the rage. When smart home solutions are installed in your house, you offer your house the same convenience and efficiency as your smartphone brings to you. “And the smart thermostat is the flagbearer of current smart home solutions,” says John from AAA air conditioning Corpus Christi.

A smart thermostat functions like programmable thermostats. It lets you program different home temperatures during different times of the day, depending on your routine. For instance, while you are at work during spring, you need not to keep your house too cool. A programmable thermostat lets you personalize its settings so that your house gets cooled or heated like you want it to.

A smart thermostat adds several smart features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, to the mix. The thermostat understands your preferred temperatures and habits during different periods and adjusts accordingly for highest efficiency. Several smart thermostats would send you reports on energy diagnostics that make clear where you’ve been wasting energy. You may use your smartphone to connect with your smart thermostat, also letting you adjust humidity and temperature right from your phone.

Air Cleaners

Air cleaners clean the air within your house effectively, thereby contributing to increased heating and cooling efficiency.

Dirt, dust, and several other particles get trapped in ducts and pile up around and on your system. These little particles can put a strain on your system and make your HVAC work harder to keep your house feeling comfortable. Generally, an HVAC setup is equipped with traditional filters, which let particles pass through and can get clogged easily and quickly.

Air cleaners have high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that do a better job of catching particles. The finer mesh in these filters catches efficiency-reducing and harmful particles, while still letting air to travel to the other side. Also, the air cleaner annihilates the trapped particles.

As more particles can be easily caught, air cleaners can mitigate any build-up. Moreover, even if there isn’t a drastic improvement in energy-efficiency, the improved air quality would keep several medical problems at bay, such as headaches, coughing, skin irritation, congestion, sneezing, and illness.

Besides efficient systems, the HVAC industry is also constantly working on improvements in maintenance and other associated services. While these technological improvements and innovations could lead to increased installation expenses, the money and energy they save in the long run would make it all worthwhile.

8 Furnace Warning Signs To Look Out For

Here are the 8 Furnace Warning signs that suggest you need a furnace replacement.

1. How old is your furnace model?

A better strategy to start is to check the furnace age and compare it to the national average. On average you can expect a home furnace to last anywhere between sixteen to twenty years. If your home furnace is nearing the average age, you need to look for replacement options. It is better to plan the replacement like most homeowners, so you get the time to look out for the best model. Stalling the replacement will result in a malfunction and will cause you to panic where searching for a replacement will become a worrisome activity for you to manage. Check your furnace to search for the pilot light. If you locate one, it is a sure confirmation that your model is likely an old one that has been running for over 25 years.

2. Observing an Increase in Gas & Electricity Bills?

A rise in your bills may not be the result of the increase in tariff of gas and electricity prices. When your furnace is old, it may end up consuming more energy bringing down its efficiency and mounting the extra charges on the utility bills. The old furnace will run longer, expend more energy and will cause your bills to go up. The additional amount you will save if you buy a new furnace system will make up for this necessary investment.

3. Any Furnace Servicing in the last two years?

Just like a car, your furnace will need replacement of parts as it ages. If the part replacements are frequent, it means that you are losing good money to replace the old parts and keep the furnace running. It is typical for the furnace unit to breakdown and brings you major replacement problems in the last two years of their functioning lives. Another way to assess the situation is the waiting time you have to endure to find the right part for replacement. The older the furnace is, the more difficult it is for you to find the replacement parts. On a cold and freezing night, this waiting period will bring you much annoyance and dismay.

4. Does your thermostat function at an optimal level to your satisfaction?

Do you feel that temperatures are uneven in your rooms? While some places in the house are cold and others are hot? Are you stuck adjusting your thermostat frequently with no results? These indicators suggest that your furnace lacks the power to distribute the air evenly in your house to maintain a comfortable temperature in all rooms.

5. Is the burner flame in yellow color instead of the blue color?

A flickering flame or a yellow color flame indicates that your furnace may be producing toxic carbon monoxide. Other indicators of carbon monoxide include Ridges of residue around furnace; Lack of an upward draft in your fireplace, Excess dampness found on windowpanes, drywall, or other cold coverings; Excessive rotting on flue tubes, other pipe joints, or machine jacks; A small amount of water dripping from the foundation of the fireplace, molding, or flue tube; Rust on the part of the vent pipe apparent from the cover.

6. Is your furnace producing unusual sounds?

Old furnaces usually begin to make some unusual sounds as they near the end of their productive life. Have you heard any banging, rising, knocking, or screeching noises arising from your furnace? Another sound is the furnace blower operating excessively. Do the fan starts and stops continuously or does it flow cold air seldom? All these signs are an indication that your furnace needs a replacement.

7. How are you and your family feeling recently?

The furnace may get cracks inside the heat exchanger when it gets old. Such breaks can let carbon monoxide leak in your house. Some signs of carbon monoxide are symptoms such as headaches, burning sensation in eyes and nose, and a constant flu-like feeling. You should immediately call in technicians if you observe these symptoms and while you wait, ope all the windows in the furnace room.

8. Is your home arid or grimy?

Old furnaces cannot filter the air in your house. Your home air may feel old or stagnant. If there is anyone who suffers from dust allergies will show the first symptoms of dirty air in your house such as reactions like a sore throat, catching viruses and diseases and other diseases due to airborne dirt. Some other signs are visible dust accumulation, drooping plants, cracks appearing in the furniture, and musical devices going out of tune. These signs are a strong indicator that your furnace does not have the strength and productive life left in it to perform at an optimal level.

Quick Air Conditioning Repair Methods You Should Try

A fully functioning air conditioning unit is necessary, especially during the hot summers. If there is a malfunction in the ac unit or the cooling is uneven, it brings down the performance of the air conditioner and requires immediate attention. However, before you hire a technician, it is better to inspect the thermostat first. Some minor thermostat issues can resemble severe problems with HVAC units and can influence the cooling system performance and support.

A thermostat malfunction will not cause any sirens or sparkles flying your way. In most cases, if the issue is with the thermostat, it will accompany slow performance deterioration of the working of the cooling unit. At times the fault in thermostat may even bring a sudden change with the cooling going down and causing you to panic. However, when you feel the worse and anticipate heavy repair works to fix the HVAC unit, it may be a simple thermostat problem that is easy to set.

If you find the air conditioning functioning in small cycles where it runs all the time, you may consider a fault in the thermostat. Or if you feel the room temperature is warmer with the typical cooling setting, it may indicate a system failure. Learning how to deal with these problems properly without delays can help you save money and time in unnecessary and expensive service calls.

The Air Conditioner Stops Working

Check for the thermostat problems. Look out for the thermostat indicator which should show lit. In case the display is not lit it indicates the inability of the thermostat to point the air conditioner to cycle on with the cooling operation. Look out for the main reasons due to which the thermostat is not getting the power supply. Some common causes include batteries with low power, a breaker tripped, or maybe a fuse is blown in the central electrical service board.

If you are sure there are no power issues, turn off the thermostat breaker, and check the inner parts of the thermostat. First examine if there is an increase of dust, grit, tobacco smoke or grime. A thermostat may malfunction if it accumulates substantial debris on its mechanical and electrical parts. You can use a soft brush or use canned air compression to clean the inner components.

Once you clean the inner portion thoroughly, check for other problems. Few things that you can detect yourself includes loose wirings and terminal screws or signs of corrosion on the installations. Refer to the user manual to use the wiring schematic as a replacement model, or you can go for the entire replacement of the thermostat.

Room Heat Never Goes to the Thermostat Configuration

Any buildup of grime and dust will bring inconsistency between the room temperature and the present temperature setting of the cooling unit. Follow the above method to do the cleaning first before you go for other steps.

Your thermostat may shift from its stable level and move off the kilter if the installation is poor or exposed to a good hit. This shift can bring temperatures inconsistency. If the issues are because of the thermostat, it is easy to balance this by placing two carpenter’s level over or underneath the thermostat and adjusting it, so it’s at the resting level.

Another common fault is when the heat anticipator is stuck, and this issue is more prevalent in the mechanical models of the thermostat. Take the cover off and find the anticipator by searching for a small metal arm that rests on a circular dial. Gently exert some pressure on the metal arm in any direction to set it free.

A thermostat that is not in a proper place will bring down the regulation of the temperature, so be careful when placing it in your house. Avoid exposing the unit to unnecessary sunlight or cold environment. If the placement is done far away from the living area, you may want to relocate the thermostat for better results.

Regular Short Cycling or Constant Running

A thermostat that is not sitting at an even level or carrying dirt can result in the short cycling and a non-stop operation that burdens the thermostat and result in energy wastage as well. Follow the above strategies to inspect and fix these two problems first.

One reason can be poor calibration in the anticipator. You can increase the cooling cycle by shifting the anticipator arm in single-notch increments towards the sign for “longer” marking on the circular dial. Allow the A/C to finish the full cycle while you make the adjustments until you observe an improvement in performance.

If you are still not able to get any results with the above troubleshooting strategies, you should consult a qualified HVAC technician and let the experts inspect the matter. Even if you manage to fix the issue, it is better to replace your old thermostat with the latest programmable version to avoid future malfunctions.

IQ Drive HVAC Units

Did you know that home comfort and energy savings can be increased through humidity control? During the summer, when humidity levels can be high, the inside of your home can feel even warmer if humidity control isn’t a priority. A humid home is a hotter home. While it may be beneficial to maintain a higher humidity level in your home during the winter, it is best practice to keep humidity levels low during the summer for superior home comfort.

Humidity control is an additional way an iQ Drive system can benefit you even more. While energy efficiency and quiet operation come standard with any iQ Drive air conditioner or heat pump, you can also expect to gain additional humidity control with these innovative systems. The dehumidification systems in iQ Drive systems are patented – meaning no other system dehumidifies quite the same way.

As it is, you will already be receiving exceptionally high cooling efficiency with the FS4BI air conditioner – up to 25.5 SEER! In addition, if you can remove some of the humidity from the air you may be able to set the thermostat a few degrees warmer without losing any home comfort. If your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to reach an ideal temperature, you could save more energy and, in turn, money on your cooling costs. Your air conditioner or heat pump can be the biggest energy guzzler in your home so it is important that every measure of conservation is employed.

If you live in an area with very high relative humidity, you may need an additional dehumidification assistance in order to truly reap the benefits that comes with decreased home humidity. However, if you do live in an area that doesn’t experience high-humidity levels, your iQ Drive air conditioner or heat pump may be able to cover all of your dehumidification needs.

The dehumidification technology inside an iQ Drive unit is unique

The first priority of any iQ Drive system is always to achieve comfort by controlling the air temperatures. Once that requirement is met, the system analyzes humidity levels and uses its variable-speed blower to remove moisture from the air. Many systems remove moisture from the evaporator coil by slowing down the blower; however an iQ Drive product also monitors evaporator temperature so that the coil will never freeze. After dehumidifying for a set time, the blower periodically speeds up again so that air remains uniformly distributed and well-mixed.

Our newest additions – the up to 19 SEER iQ Drive heat pump and 20 SEER iQ Drive gas/electric packaged unit – can also work to dehumidify the home, but in a different way. For a dehumidification function, these models must be paired with a thermostat that includes a humidity output terminal. The thermostat will then slow the blower down when humidity removal is demanded.