When buying a new HVAC system, there are all sorts of different components to think about. Do you want a single or variable-speed air handler? Should you use R-22 refrigerant, or R-410A? But one of the most important components is one most people hardly think about: piping. What kinds of HVAC piping materials are there, and how do you choose the right ones for your system? Here’s a brief guide.
The type of HVAC piping you get depends on what’s going to be running through it, what temperature and pressure it will have to withstand, and a variety of other factors. For the hot and cold liquids that run through your A/C or furnace, you’ll want to use metal piping.
Copper piping is able to withstand extreme temperatures in both directions, as well as high pressures. However, copper is also very expensive, so it’s generally only used for smaller piping lengths, of three inches or less. It’s also prone to leaking if it’s not carefully sealed.
For longer pipe lengths, steel is used. In addition to being less expensive, it can also withstand extreme temperatures, and even higher pressure than copper. Plus, sealing two steel pieces is much easier …
When it comes time to replace your HVAC system, choose carefully. While most homeowners tend to get the same type of system that they are replacing, this is an opportunity to assess new technology and decide if you would be better served with a new HVAC type. Read on for a brief summary of the most popular types.
Types of HVAC Systems The most common type of HVAC system is the forced air furnace and air conditioner. Most homeowners have a split system forced air HVAC, consisting of an outdoor condenser/compressor, and an indoor air handler and evaporator coils with air delivered through ductwork. Newer central air models can be extremely efficient, with such features as a condensing furnace, electronically commutated motor, scroll compressor, and with a smart thermostat, the ability to control temperature remotely. Heat pumps have come a long way in the U.S. market, and have won over many homeowners because they are clean (no fossil fuels are burned), quiet and efficient. Heat pumps move warm air out to cool a home, and move refrigerant warmed by outside air inside to heat a house. They also are available with scroll compressors for greater efficiency.Geothermal heat pumps won’t work on everyone’s property, …
While routine care and professional maintenance can help prolong the life of your HVAC unit, a time comes when you have to invest in a new one. So can you just throw your old unit in the trash? No, you can’t. It contains chemical refrigerant that’s harmful to the environment. Fortunately, you can use one of the following HVAC disposal options to get rid of your old unit responsibly.
Dedicated Recycling Facility
Some specialized recycling facilities recycle large pieces of equipment and appliances like HVAC units, generators, and cooling towers. Some of these companies can arrange pickups for the recyclables while others will want you to deliver the items to their location. Policies regarding fees also differ from one facility to the next. You can call nearby recycling facilities to find out their policies.
Occasionally, utility companies offer bounty programs to ensure safe HVAC disposal. They buy back old appliances that meet specific qualifications, such as size and working condition. If your unit meets the stipulations of the bounty program, you can go ahead and discuss drop-off or pick-up options with a company representative. Contact your local utility provider and ask about the available bounty or rebate programs.
February 2nd is Groundhog Day, when Punxsutawney Phil traditionally comes out of hibernation and tells us whether spring will soon arrive, or cold weather will persist and extend the winter heating season. This annual event has been widely celebrated across the country since 1886, but does it really have a correlation to your home’s HVAC?
How Groundhog Day Relates to Your HVAC System
According to Groundhog Day lore, if the sun is out when furry Phil emerges from his burrow, he’ll see his shadow and retreat back inside, and we’ll have six more weeks of winter. If the sky is overcast and the chubby rodent isn’t scared by his own shadow, he’ll stay outside which means that spring is on its way. Whether or not you believe a nervous groundhog makes a good meteorologist, a shorter or longer winter can impact your home comfort, well-being and monthly expenses in predictable ways:
Seasonal energy bills. When Phil accurately foretells an additional six weeks of cold temperatures, you’ll end up spending more on gas or electricity to keep your home warm. If the weather turns mild instead, you may benefit from lower utility bills for a longer period before the heat of …
Airflow problems with your HVAC system can leave you dealing with discomforting issues like hot or cold spots, uneven temperatures in different rooms, and/or a drop in conditioned air output from the registers. What starts out as a gradual loss of comfort can escalate into a costly equipment breakdown or failure, so it’s vital to have the problem addressed. Here’s a look at some of the most common causes or airflow issues and what to do about them:
Obstructed Registers and Duct Openings
If you’ve closed some registers, or your return ducts are covered by furniture, drapes, throw rugs, toys or other items, it can cause temperature inconsistencies in different areas of your home and a damaging imbalance in system airflow. You can fix this by wiping down each vent cover and vacuuming out the duct openings, and then checking that your louvered registers are completely open and all supply and return vents are free from obstructions.
Clogged Air Filter
If you’ve neglected to change your system’s air filter and it’s become clogged by dust and debris, you’ll notice a drop in airflow at the registers. Restricted airflow can also increase your HVAC equipment’s workload and energy consumption, or even …