The Real Scoop on Summer AC Tune-Ups
Three out of every four properties in the United States have an air conditioner, and most homeowners purchase these products in the summer when the temperatures soar and they face extensive air conditioning repairs. You might have heard that it’s a good idea to buy an air conditioner in the winter, long before the summer rush. This is just a myth. Summer’s a great time to invest in a new air conditioning system or upgrade your existing one. Here’s why.
Yes, most people buy air conditioners in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal. Many vendors reduce air conditioning units in the summer as they compete with other companies for customers. If you want to repair your existing air conditioning unit, maintenance typically costs the same in the summer as the winter. There’s no need to wait until the temperatures drop to fix your system.
The average American household spends more than $900 on heating and cooling every year. Upgrading your air conditioner could reduce these costs significantly. The latest AC units let you regulate air flow in your home, so you could save money on your summer utility bills.
As the summer season is ushered in, what can you do to help prevent mosquitoes from invading your home through the use of upcoming HVAC technologies? Please read on to learn more.
Basic Precautions Against Mosquitoes Around Your Home
Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so it is important to look for and eliminate areas of pooling in your yard, especially after heavy rains. Bird baths and feeders, flower pots, improperly draining gutters, and any other decorative item or debris in your yard can gather rainwater and become the ideal environment for mosquitoes to thrive. If you have a window air conditioning unit, it is essential that you assure it is draining properly and not retaining excessive condensation inside the unit. Mosquitoes can also fly in through the air vents.
Using Ultrasonic Technology In HVAC
A major manufacturer has produced a mini split air conditioning unit that uses ultrasonic wave technology to help repel mosquitoes, especially in areas that have large epidemics of mosquito-borne diseases. While overall, the technology may not do enough to eliminate mosquito populations in infested areas of the world, it could be a first line of defense when used with more traditional solutions, such as mosquito nets. In addition, the air conditioners provide voltage protection for the compressor. This is critical in areas where electrical service can be very unreliable. As mosquito-borne diseases continue to be of massive global concern, it is likely manufacturers will increase the production and availability of these units to more locations worldwide.
Don’t get caught without AC on a hot day! To schedule your summer HVAC maintenance check, please contact the professionals of Expert Air and Refrigeration at (512) 255-6525.
Are you interested in exploring new technologies that could cool your space more efficiently? Is a new HVAC investment the right choice for you? Please read on to learn more.
How The System Works
A passive chilled beam system works by passing chilled water through a casing suspended from the ceiling. As warm air naturally rises, it is then cooled by the beam, and begins to naturally lower the cool air back toward the floor. This system cools the air by convection, and thus eliminates the need for a fan. However, in an active system, an air supply pushes the room’s air toward the beam, cooling it more efficiently. The active type of system can also use a two pipe team to provide cool water cooling in warm months and hot water heating in cool months. However, this system has less heating capacity than other options and may often need to be supplemented with another option such as baseboard heating. Due to US building codes, each system must provide an outside air source to ventilate the space, and also provide air that is below the dew point of the chilled beam’s surface temperature to prevent excessive condensation and thus dripping of water into the cooling space.
Common Disadvantages To Consider
An active chilled beam system can often have a higher installation cost because the beams have a lower cooling capacity than other options. Items used to offset the cost of installation, such as pumps and fans, increase energy use, and thus overall cost. The surrounding air may often need to be dehumidified to prevent the condensation forming on the coils as water runs through the beams. A natural ventilation source, such as an open window, may be used, but there can be less control over the amount of condensation possibly formed. Another disadvantage is the possibility of water leaks occurring throughout the pipe system.
To learn more about new innovations in cooling and heating that might be right for you, or to schedule your spring HVAC maintenance check, please contact the professionals of
Expert Air and Refrigeration at (512) 255-6525.
Do you constantly suffer from a stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes? Would you like to use your home’s HVAC system to help fight outdoor and indoor allergens? Please read on to learn more.
Reducing Common Spring Plant Allergens In Your Home
Common spring allergens in Central Texas include oak, hickory/pecan, and other common types of tree pollen. Grass pollen thrives in the later parts of spring and summer. To combat common allergens and dust in your home, it is important to select the best filter for your HVAC system, which will provide the greatest amount of filtration of allergens, while still allowing the unit to run the most efficiently. It is also vital to know how to change the filter regularly. This task should be completed at least every three months. You may need to change the filter up to once a month in heavily allergen-ridden homes, so that you are receiving its maximum benefit. On days with high pollen counts, it is important to keep doors and windows closed, if at all possible, and run your air conditioner as needed.
Mold And Humidity
Mold can often be one of the biggest contributors to indoor allergies. Heavy spring rains and higher than average humidity outside can cause mold spores to easily form and spread throughout your home. Basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas of your home in which moisture gathers are the most susceptible to mold growth. Those who suffer from respiratory allergies and those with compromised immune systems can be greatly impacted by the growth of mold in your home. Consider using a dehumidifier in your home on days with higher than average humidity to help prevent the transfer and spread of unhealthy mold in your home.
To learn more about improving the air quality inside your home, or to schedule your spring HVAC maintenance check,
please contact the professionals of Expert Air and Refrigeration at (512) 255-6525.
Would you like to use SMART technology to automate the HVAC system for your business? Would you like to run your current system more efficiently or invest in future upgrades? Please read on to learn more.
Investing In Your Future
The controls and monitoring of rooftop HVAC units used in commercial buildings can easily be automated in the same way many homes use SMART thermostats and other connected devices. SMART devices can control and monitor such things as fire suppression systems, lighting, and security alarms. This allows a business owner or manager to remotely monitor and control building conditions. It may make facility management easier if you have a large number of rooftop HVAC units or buildings to oversee. A variety of major HVAC manufacturers sell HVAC units that may be controlled and monitored by an app on a mobile device. With this technology, a network of sensors and touchscreen wi-fi thermostats can continuously monitor and control the ambient temperature throughout the facility and possibly improve the indoor air quality of the building.
A major advantage of using these types of technologies is that they can help you to remotely troubleshoot the heating or cooling system before calling a licensed professional. On many units, this can be accomplished on both the control panel for the unit and remotely via the mobile app. These devices can monitor the operation of such components as blowers, condensers, compressors, and fans, alerting you to issues before they become hazardous. This allows you to call a licensed heating and cooling professional as soon as possible. Another advantage is that on some models, a technician may be able to download information about the unit, such as error codes, through a USB port, possibly speeding repairs or during scheduled seasonal inspections. The mobile app, thermostats and control panels will also likely be able to provide everyday operating data to those monitoring the HVAC units for your business.
These devices may need a large initial investment from your business. However, building automation as a whole can make your entire business run more energy efficiently, saving you money throughout the life of the new HVAC unit or control system. Many manufacturers also provide financing and extended warranty plans. Thus, it may be a worthwhile investment when considering a new HVAC system or retrofitting an existing system to include these new technologies on the market.
Notes of Concern
It is important to note that software and firmware errors can occur in the communication between the HVAC unit and a mobile app being used to monitor it or make changes to the system. Another matter that businesses should educate themselves about is how the manufacturer uses the data obtained about your heating and cooling units and about the facilities where they are utilized. In today’s world, it is also possible for proprietary data to be stolen, or for the ventilation systems to be compromised and controlled by nefarious parties. As with any SMART device, security and privacy are top matters to consider when choosing to use these technologies.
To learn more about emerging HVAC technologies that might be a good choice for your business, please contact the professionals of Expert Air and Refrigeration at (512) 255-6525.
As Spring temperatures continue to rise, putting more strain on the HVAC system used by your business, what can you be doing to help the unit run more efficiently? What should you consider before calling a licensed professional? How can regular maintenance and choosing the right unit for your business save you money in the long run? Please read on to learn more.
Where Can It First Go Wrong?
The HVAC system’s filter can be the first thing to become dirty and clogged, overwhelming motors and compressors, thus decreasing the efficiency of the overall unit. As discussed here, it is important to first choose the right filter for the right environmental conditions or industrial applications at your business. Typically, filters used in commercial buildings require a much greater MERV value, including some settings where a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) filter would be ideal. However, these filters can separate much smaller particles from the air, and can thus become dirty much more quickly, especially in areas exposed to a greater number of industrial contaminants. It is important to identify how often the filters typically become dirty, so that they may be changed. This will reduce strain and potential damage to the system. A well-filtered air system is also healthier for your employees and can potentially prevent extra wear and tear on any equipment used for your business.
Coils, Fins, And The Environment
As in a residential setting, the outside environment can have a negative impact on the coils of your HVAC unit. Conditions and materials such as hail, industrial particulates, grass clippings and fallen leaves, pollen, and high mineral content in the air and rainwater can cause the outer coils to become dirty, or even damaged by storms. A clean HVAC filter is your first line of defense in helping prevent these materials from reaching the coils of the ventilation unit.
Don’t Forget Routine Inspections and Maintenance!
It is important to maintain your HVAC system as you would maintain any other part of your facility. It is important to schedule routine inspections with a licensed HVAC specialist to assure that everything is in working order before any larger repairs or replacements must be made, which could cause loss of business days and unplanned expenses.
To learn more about running your commercial HVAC system more efficiently, or to schedule an HVAC maintenance and performance check for your business, please contact the professionals of
Expert Air and Refrigeration at (512) 255-6525.
Could it be time for some spring cleaning and routine maintenance for the walk-in coolers/freezers, display coolers, or commercial ice machines you utilize in your business? Are there some easy steps you and a licensed professional can take to make your units run more efficiently? Unplanned repairs can cost you profitable days of business, or make you run over budget. Please read on to learn more.
Important Points of Inspection
Professional inspection and maintenance should be performed at least twice a year. It is important to ensure the equipment used by your business is working well to maintain federal food safety standards for products you need to store or display for sale. A few examples of important checkpoints for maintenance include: Making sure that the seals, air shields, and hinges of all doors are operating properly. Drainage lines should be checked and cleared. In addition, refrigerant levels should be determined. High temperature alarms should be inspected to see that they are functioning properly. Also, determine if thermostats or control panels are displaying the accurate temperature for the unit. If not, they may need to be calibrated. It is also vital to check that the unit is defrosting and cycling properly. All moving parts of the evaporator and condenser should be inspected, and often cleaned or oiled. All wiring and electrical connections should be checked for damage to be sure that they are working properly.
Common Issues Decreasing Efficiency
As with any sort of cooling unit, the compressor can often be the first thing to fail. Be sure to keep it free of dust and debris that can make the compressor, and thus the unit as a whole, run inefficiently. This may cut short the operating life of the unit. It is vital that commercial refrigeration used in your business is using energy efficiently to meet the federal requirements for energy use, and to maintain best green business practices. Units that are energy efficient may also help save money for your business in the long run.
To learn more about installing new commercial refrigeration solutions, or to schedule a seasonal maintenance and performance check for your business, please contact the professionals of Expert Air and Refrigeration at (512) 255-6525.
Though winter temperatures will continue to fluctuate, it is not too early to begin planning for the long, hot summer cooling season ahead. Are you considering purchasing a new, more efficient air conditioner before temperatures hit the 90’s and above? Do you need help deciding which air conditioner might be right for your home? Please read on to learn more.
By The Numbers
As with choosing the right heating system, your first step needs to be figuring out the total amount of square footage in your home that you will need to cool. Logically, the majority of Texas is located in the hottest of the US climate zones (Zone 1). The capacity of AC units is measured in a range from 1-5 tons, for most residential settings. Each ton is able to cool approximately 12,000 BTU per hour. For example, if you need to cool 2000 square feet, you will need a minimum of 20 BTU/hr per square foot. This would be equal to 40,000 BTU per hour (2000 x 20 = 40,000). To figure the tonnage of the correct cooling unit for your home, given this example you would take 40,000/12,000= approximately 3.33, likely making a 3.5 ton unit the most appropriate for the space. The efficiency of air conditioning units are measured with the SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). This can be determined by figuring the cooling provided over a period of time in BTU divided by the amount of electricity used during that same period of time. Units with higher SEER ratings are more efficient. Other factors to consider include how well your home is insulated and if there are an ample number of shade trees on your property.
Cooling Things Down: Choosing the Right New Air Conditioner
You can find information about new air conditioning units at a number of trusted manufacturer websites, or by contacting your local HVAC professional. If you choose to compare a new unit to the unit currently existing outside your home, you can study the outdoor unit for a code linked to tonnage in the model number. These numbers increase by a factor of six for each half ton. For example, the number 18 denotes a 1.5 ton unit (18,000/12,000= 1.5), while the number 60 would denote a 5 ton unit (60,000/12,000=5). To return to our previous example, a 3.5 ton unit would contain the number 42 within its model number, because (42,000/12,000 BTU per hour) = 3.5. When considering the costs compared to repairing an older model, versus purchasing a newer, more efficient unit, it is important to consider such factors as capacity, efficiency, and household budget. If you purchase a cooling unit that is too large for the space you need to cool, the unit may cycle too often, increasing the wear and tear on the unit, thus decreasing the overall lifespan of the air conditioner.
To learn more information about new HVAC systems available on the market, or to schedule your seasonal performance check, please contact the professionals of Expert Air and Refrigeration at (512) 255-6525.
Have you been thinking about replacing your heating unit with a newer and more efficient model in the new year? How do you know you are choosing the right unit for your home? Please read on to learn more.
Doing the Math
First, you need to determine the amount of square footage in your home that you will need to heat. Texas is in the warmest of the US climate zones. That means that you will need a heating unit that can provide you with approximately 30-50 BTUs (British Thermal Units) per square foot. This is known as the heating factor. If your home is well-insulated, you can likely use a number closer to the lower end of the spectrum. The higher end of the range should be used if your home is poorly insulated. Older homes will also require more heating than newer, more efficient homes. To figure this out, simply multiply the number of square feet you need to heat in your home times the heating factor. For example (an older home with less insulation): 2000 square feet times a heating factor of 35 would equal 70,000 BTU per hour. This will help you determine what size of furnace you will need to properly heat your home. This is known as capacity in the manufacturer’s specifications and is measured in BTU per hour. Another factor to consider, is the efficiency rating in the manufacturer specifications. These typically fall between 80-90%. For example: If you require a 70,000 BTU per hour heating unit, and the efficiency of said unit is 90%, in reality, it will provide you with approximately 63,000 BTU per hour, because 70,000 x .90 is equal to 63,000.
Choosing the Right New Unit for Your Home
You can find information about new HVAC units at a variety of manufacturer websites, or by contacting your local HVAC professional. When comparing units, it is important to consider such factors as the capacity, efficiency rating, and the type of fuel sources you have available to you at your location. Your household’s budgetary needs must also be taken into consideration.
To learn more information about new HVAC systems on the market, or to schedule your seasonal performance check, please contact the professionals of Expert Air and Refrigeration at (512) 255-6525.
Jason G. was the technician that came out to my house. I didn’t feel like I was talking to a salesman at all, but more like a good friend. He spent as long as was needed to talk with me, and half that time we didn’t even talk about the a/c...the staff at Expert Air have restored my faith in service companies.”Read More Testimonials…