Tag Archives: hvac

New Air Conditioner? Sizing Guide

New Air Conditioner? Sizing GuideWhen you’re in the market for a new cooling system, nothing is quite as important as the air conditioner sizing process you’ll go through with your HVAC contractor. Cooling systems aren’t a one-size-fits all appliance. Much of how they’re sized depends on the energy efficiency of your home first, and its actual size second.

The Process

Reputable HVAC contractors use Manual J software to run the sizing calculation, also called a load calculation Manual J requires the following elements of your home in order to calculate the optimal A/C capacity:

  • Insulation levels in the attic and walls.
  • Number of windows, their sizes, placement and orientation to the sun.
  • Air infiltration rates.
  • Cubic footage to cool.
  • Floor plan design.
  • Number of heat-producing appliances indoors.
  • Landscaping factors.
  • Temperature preferences, family size and ages.

The process will take time and it has to be done at your home. The HVAC pro will measure your windows, calculate the cubic footage and inspect the insulation levels. He’ll ask you questions about your family’s preferences and lifestyles for cooling.

Once all the data are input, the software returns a sizing recommendation. The next step is to use

Manual J’s sister software, Manual D, to properly size the ductwork to match the new air conditioner.

The Value of Sizing HVAC Equipment

Air conditioner sizing is so important because equipment that’s not the ideal size won’t run as efficiently. In our climate, a system that’s too large will increase energy costs and leave excessive humidity behind. One that’s too small won’t keep your home comfortable during periods of extreme heat.

 

Ductwork that doesn’t match the air conditioner will be noisy if it’s too small and ineffective if it’s too large. When air goes through a space that’s tight, it whistles. When there’s too much capacity in the duct, it won’t blow through forcefully enough.

 

When you’re replacing your cooling system, taking the time to go through the air conditioner sizing exercise will pay you back in greater comfort and lower energy bills. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Reasons Your Heater Kicks On When Your Thermostat is Set to Cool

Reasons Your Heater Kicks On When Your Thermostat is Set to CoolIt’s unnerving when your HVAC system is in cooling mode and you feel warm air coming from your registers. This can occur for various reasons like a mix-up in basic HVAC settings, neglected routine maintenance, or at worst, a newly-developed problem with the cooling components. Here’s how to identify and solve the most common issues, and know when to call for professional help:

Recheck Your Thermostat Settings

Mix-ups with your thermostat settings can produce warm air output instead of cool, and they’re easily fixed:

  • The thermostat was accidentally switched over to “heating ” mode and just needs to be reset for “cooling.”
  • The fan setting is in the “on” position, which keeps it running non-stop and sends warm air out in between cooling cycles. Put the fan on “auto” instead, and it will operate in tandem with the A/C and only push cool air through the ductwork.

Check Whether the Outdoor Unit is Operational

If airflow from the registers suddenly goes from cool to warm, there may be a loss of power at the outdoor unit. If it’s non-responsive, check both the outdoor emergency shutoff switch and the unit’s breaker in your home’s main electrical panel. If either has tripped, resetting it may be all that’s necessary. If a reset safety device quickly trips again, leave it alone and call your HVAC pro to determine why.

Look for Airflow Restrictions

A drop in airflow through your HVAC system can lead to coil icing and/or a compressor shutdown that leaves you with warm air output when it should be cool. Sometimes, putting in a clean air filter, making sure all the supply and return vents are fully open and unobstructed, and clearing away debris/vegetation that’s blocking airflow at the outdoor unit can help. If there’s no improvement, call your HVAC technician to check for more serious issues, like a low refrigerant charge, a malfunctioning fan, or a dirty evaporator or condenser coil.

 

If the cooling system in your Peachtree City home is producing warm air, and adjusting your HVAC settings hasn’t helped, contact us at Powers Heating & Air for expert assistance.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

 

Bad HVAC Habits Homeowners Need to Kick

Bad HVAC Habits Homeowners Need to KickIt’s easy to take your home’s HVAC system for granted and develop bad habits about its use and care that affect your comfort, energy bills and the equipment’s reliability and longevity. If you identify with any of the following bad HVAC habits, now’s the time to kick them:

Neglecting the Air Filter

Your air filter is in place to trap debris so it can’t accumulate on and harm sensitive components. Running your HVAC with a clogged filter can cause a loss of energy efficiency and premature equipment wear that leads to breakdowns or failures. You can easily prevent these costly problems by checking your filter monthly, and replacing it whenever there’s visible debris accumulation, or every three months at minimum.

Fiddling With the Thermostat Settings

If your living areas frequently feel too hot or too cool and you’re in the habit of changing the thermostat temperature settings to compenstate, you’re wasting energy and adding to the equipment’s workload needlessly. A better alterntive is to use your programmable thermostat to make temperature adjustments based on your usual daily routine. If you’re still experiencing discomforting temperature variations, get your HVAC pro’s advice about installing zoning to give you greater control.

Putting Off Routine Maintenance

Having your HVAC system professionally serviced twice a year is essential to keep it operating efficiently and minimize the likelihood of breakdowns and failures. If you often forget to schedule maintenance appointments, opting for a preventive maintenance agreement with a trusted, local HVAC company is a hassle-free way to keep your equipment in peak condition.

Not Paying Attention to Airflow Issues

Failing to maintain good airflow through your HVAC system can cause serious problems with its performance and reliability, and erode your comfort too. Actions to avoid to keep the system’s airflow healthy include shutting registers in some rooms, intentionally or accidentally blocking the return air vents, and allowing airflow through the outdoor unit to be stifled by tall vegetation and/or yard debris.

For helping identifying and kicking bad HVAC habits so they don’t comfort and efficiency in your Peachtree City home, contact us at Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Can Your HVAC Fight Back-to-School Germs?

Can Your HVAC Fight Back-to-School Germs?With cold and flu season just around the corner, it’s not too early to explore the idea of fighting germs with HVAC equipment. It is possible and it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to lower transmission rates of bacterial and viral illnesses in your home. Upgraded filters, humidity control and UV (ultraviolet) lights all help to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases.

 

Air Filtration

Bacteria range in size from .3 to 60 microns and viruses from 0.005 – 0.3 microns. While most air filters for HVAC systems won’t capture the smallest particles, a whole-house air filtration system will, especially if it uses HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters.

Humidity Control

One of the reasons fall and winter are the cold and flu season is that the dry indoor air supports the transmission of infectious diseases. Overly dry air dries out the respiratory passages and makes them more vulnerable to infection from bacteria and viruses.

The germs also get a boost when the air dries out. When you keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent during the fall and winter, they won’t multiply as quickly. A whole-house humidifier will maintain even levels effortlessly and efficiently.

UV Lights

Ultraviolet lights have a proven track record for fighting germs with HVAC. Whenever an organic molecule passes over a UV ray, its DNA is damaged and it can’t reproduce. UV lights are an affordable, simple and energy efficient way to tackle other air quality problems indoors. Besides eliminating germ proliferation, UV lights reduce mold infestations and the toxicity of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

 

UV lights fit inside the air handler and when pointed at the evaporator coil, will keep it free from mold and bacterial growth. The lights are also useful inside the ductwork to help clean indoor air. They need cleaning every six months and replacement every year to maintain full effectiveness.

 

Each of these approaches will help with fighting germs with HVAC systems. To learn more about using one or all of them, contact Powers Heating & Air providing trusted services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

 

How Insulation Affects HVAC Efficiency

How Insulation Affects HVAC EfficiencyHVAC efficiency depends upon more than just the make and model of your air conditioner or furnace. Insulation is one of the factors that can make or break both optimum energy efficiency and consistent comfort in your house.

 

Insulation For All Seasons

 

Heat energy is always in motion from a warmer zone into a cooler zone. Proper insulation effectively inhibits both heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter and supports maximum HVAC efficiency. The most cost-effective location for household insulation is usually the attic. Here’s why:

  • Solar heat radiating through the roof overheats the attic in summer, causing rooms below to become hotter, too. A bed of fiberglass or cellulose insulation in the attic floor effectively inhibits heat radiation through the ceiling and reduces the cooling load on your air conditioner.
  • In winter, heat from the furnace naturally rises in living spaces, radiating up through the ceiling into the colder attic. Proper insulation in the attic floor resists heat transfer through the ceiling and keeps heating costs lower.

How Insulation Pays Off

By reducing the effect of heat gain and heat loss, insulation boosts HVAC efficiency, maximizes performance of your air conditioner or furnace and helps control cooling/heating costs.

  • Shorter cooling cycles means the A/C compressor—often the largest single electricity consumer in a typical house—runs less and monthly electricity costs are reduced.
  • Gas-fired furnaces also use less fuel to keep the house warm as insulation reduces heat loss into the attic.
  • Manufacturer’s efficiency ratings are more accurate. Both the SEER efficiency rating for air conditioners and the AFUE rating for gas-fired furnaces are helpful factors in predicting the operating costs of a particular unit. The reliability of these efficiency calculations assumes that proper insulation is installed in the house.
  • Components of efficient HVAC units receive less wear and tear. System service life is extended due to shorter cycles and repairs are less frequent.

For more about the link between proper insulation and improved HVAC efficiency, ask the professionals at Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.