Tag Archives: zoning

HVAC Control Systems: What Are They?

HVAC Control Systems: What Are They?The words “HVAC control system” typically bring to mind the complex climate control systems that manage heating, ventilation and air conditioning in industrial or commercial buildings. These elaborate systems ensure energy efficiency and occupant comfort using software-managed sensors and controllers that continually monitor the building’s interior conditions and operate the various HVAC components.

HVAC Controls Used in Homes

In a home with central HVAC, the thermostat is what controls the air conditioner, furnace and the blower unit that delivers conditioned air. Early thermostats were basic mechanical devices that signaled the equipment to start and stop at specific temperature set points. Technology has advanced in recent years, and today, there are sophisticated home HVAC controls available that provide greater energy efficiency, comfort and convenience, including:

  • Programmable digital thermostats. Digital thermostats use a thermistor to measure room temperature, and a microcontroller to convert that measurement to a digital temperature reading. Factory-installed software in programmable models allows a homeowner to input their temperature preferences for up to eight setback periods per day to maintain comfort while saving energy.
  • Zoning systems. Zoning divides a home into two or more areas to provide more precise control of comfort and energy consumption. A typical zoning system consists of a centrally-located control panel that’s linked to ductwork dampers that define the zones, and a programmable thermostat in each zone. The homeowner can schedule setbacks and their desired heating and cooling parameters for each zone via the control panel.
  • Learning thermostats. These “communicating” thermostats are programmable, plus they gather and send data on conditions in a home, allowing the owner to monitor and change the settings remotely. The most advanced models use software algorithms that let the device “learn” the homeowner’s comfort preferences and make adjustments automatically. The latest versions can monitor and make adjustments related to the outdoor weather, indoor air quality, humidity levels and the home’s occupancy, and send alerts if problems arise with the HVAC equipment, or the system needs routine maintenance.

To learn about HVAC control system options to boost 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.

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.

3 Reasons to Consider a Luxury Air Conditioner

3 Reasons to Consider a Luxury Air ConditionerOn a hot summer day in Georgia, air conditioning can feel like the height of luxury. A nice breeze of cool air on your face… Things couldn’t get better than this. Well, in fact, they could. Have you considered a high-end air conditioner? You may think that high-end means too expensive. But in fact, the features pay for themselves over time with increased energy savings. Here are some of the benefits a luxury model can provide.

Increased efficiency.

The first advantage of a high-end air conditioner is its higher SEER rating. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is the amount of cooling your A/C produces for the amount of energy it uses. The higher the number, the more efficient the system. The current minimum SEER rating is 14.5. Many luxury models have ratings up to 21, allowing them to provide superior cooling for less money.

Variable capacity.

Most regular A/Cs produce the same amount of cooling every time, until the house reaches its comfort level. But variable capacity models can produce less cooling on slightly warm days and more on sweltering hot ones. Not only does this save energy, it cuts down on cycling on and off, helping your unit last longer.

Zoning.

Your A/C cools your entire house based on the readings of one thermostat in one room. But your home’s cooling needs aren’t uniform. One room may be too cold while another is still too warm. A zoning system separates your house into sections based on individual cooling needs, with a thermostat in each section. Every zone gets precisely the amount of cooling it needs and no more, increasing overall comfort while saving energy.

Indoor air quality.

Did you know the air in your home is much dirtier than the air outside? Your A/C is able to filter out some of the contaminants. But a high-end model provides superior filtering capabilities, getting rid of dust, bacteria, and other allergens and helping you breathe easy.

 

To learn more about high-end air conditioner options, contact us at Powers Heating & Air. We’re Peachtree City’s trusted source for quality heating and cooling solutions.

 

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.

 

A Zoning System Can Save You Energy and Money

A Zoning System Can Save You Energy and MoneyIn the average household, heating and cooling accounts for approximately 40 percent of total annual energy consumption. If you currently have a single-zone HVAC system with one thermostat to control your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, installing a zoning system can help you save energy and lower your annual operating costs.

How Zoned Systems Work

Zoned systems use motorized ductwork dampers to divide a home into multiple independent sections or zones. Each zone has a thermostat that’s wired to a central control panel. When one of the thermostats calls for heating or cooling, the control panel opens the damper for that zone and signals the HVAC equipment to cycle on.

Zoning is the ideal solution to control HVAC energy consumption in large or multi-story homes. It’s also well-suited for homes with features that make efficient heating and cooling more difficult, like numerous large windows, a loft, cathedral ceilings, a sunroom, or finished space over the garage or in the attic.

Benefits of a Zoning System

A well-designed and properly installed zoning system offers some significant benefits:

  • Energy savings. With the precise control you’ll gain from zoning, you won’t pay to heat and cool the whole house all the time. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a zoning system paired with programmable thermostats can lower yearly heating and cooling costs up to 30 percent. You can boost energy efficiency even more by upgrading to a variable-speed air handler.
  • Consistent comfort. With a single-zone system, is usually only the area closest to the thermostat that’s heated or cooled accurately, which can leave other areas too hot or too cold. A zoned system’s individual thermostats provide better temperature control and virtually eliminate uneven heating or cooling.
  • Extended equipment life. When you have a zoned system, your HVAC equipment doesn’t have to run at full capacity or cycle on and off as often to keep your home comfortable, so it won’t wear out as quickly.

To learn how a zoning system can help you save energy and money in your Peachtree City area 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 zoning systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Alex Mit/Shutterstock”

Working With Your Heating-System Tech: Furnace Terms It’s Smart To Know

furnace terms peachtree georgiaYou’re not expected to know the inside and outside of your heating system. It’s complicated stuff. That’s why most homeowners rely on a professional HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) technician to service it every year. However, it does help to know some of the terminology. Not only will it make working with your heating-system tech much easier, it will also help you grasp a basic idea of how your heating system works.

Here are a few terms which can help you become familiar with your heating system, and make working with your heating-system tech that much easier:

  • Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): A percentage that determines your furnace’s efficiency. The higher the percentage, the more efficient your furnace is at converting fuel to heat, and the less energy it wastes.
  • Combined Annual Efficiency (CAE):  A rating that indicates the amount of heat that your system produces for every dollar of fuel that it consumes to heat your home and water.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO): A colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is produced when carbon burns without enough air. Your furnace produces a small, harmless amount, but leaks can occur, and can be deadly.
  • Ductwork: The system of pipes and vents through which your furnace delivers heated air throughout your home.
  • Energy StarA label of excellence given to products that exceed the standard efficiency minimums set by the government. The label is designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Heat Exchanger: A device, located in your furnace, that transfers heat to the surrounding air. That air is what your ductwork carries throughout your home.
  • Humidifier: A device that adds moisture to air after the furnace heats it, which allows for higher quality air throughout the home.
  • Zoning: A system in which a home is divided into several sections. Homeowners then can control the temperature of each zone individually, allow for more specific heating and cooling in the areas that need it most.

Learning these furnace terms can make working with your heating-system tech that much easier. For an expert inspection of your furnace, contact Powers Heating & Air today. We are proud to offer homeowners in the Peachtree City area top-quality customer service.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree, GA and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about furnace terms and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock