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Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning (27)

During our hot, humid Connecticut summers it's common for homeowners tell us that the upper levels of their home feel hot and stuffy, while the lower levels are freezing cold. In multi-level homes there can be as much as a 8-10 degree difference between the lowest level and the highest level in the home. Here are some steps you can take to even out the temperatures.

First, it's important to leave all of the air ducts open throughout the house. Central heating and cooling systems are designed to work with the air volume of every room. Closing air ducts can reduce the performance of the system and waste energy.

Leaky Air Ducts

Even minor leaks from poorly aligned or uninsulated ducts can dramatically reduce airflow, making it difficult for conditioned air to reach the outer reaches of the home. An HVAC professional can help find and seal leaks with with special pressurizing equipment.

Check Insulation Levels

Improving attic insulation can mitigate air leaks and can reduce the effect of environmental factors on the temperature inside of the home. The US Department of Energy has some great tips for installing insulation here.

Consider a Zoning System

A zoning system allows you to control the temperature on multiple levels of the home independently using thermostats installed on each floor. The thermostats are rigged to control panels that adjust dampers installed inside your ductwork.

In addition to balancing the temperature on different floors, a zoned system will allow you to heat or cool individual rooms on demand, or close off unused rooms entirely.

Have questions about uneven cooling in your home? Call Air Specialties Heating and Air Conditioning, we can help.
Lot's of homeowners like to tackle home improvement projects around the home to test their skills and save some money. However, there are some projects that are definitely not for the inexperienced and untrained – espeically any project that involves electrical systems and air conditioners.

Because there are few if any owner maintainable parts on today's central air conditioners, slways contact a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home, including the installation and servicing of air conditioning and heating equipment.

Consider These Statistics
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 15% of consumer-product related electrocutions are related to contact with large appliances. These electrocutions occur most commonly while someone is attempting to service or repair the appliance.
  • In 2006, an estimated 33,500 injuries were reported to hospital emergency rooms as involving air conditioners, fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and heat pumps. The leading types of injuries were laceration (14,890), contusion or abrasion (6,110), and strain or sprain (4,430).
  • In 2006, air conditioning or related equipment was involved in an estimated 7,400 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 270 civilian injuries and $200 million indirect property damage.
  • In 2003-2006, the 7,000 reported home structure fires per year involving air conditioning and related equipment included 2,400 per year involving central and room air conditioners specifically and 3,700 per year involving fans.
  • In 1995-2003 (excluding 1999, which was not reported), there were 11.5 electrocution deaths per year involving air conditioners and 4.3 electrocution deaths per year involving fans.
So the next time you need air conditioner service, play it safe and call the pros at Air Specialties Heating and Air Conditioning.
With the hot summer weather right around the corner in the West Haven area, your air conditioner will soon be working hard to keep your home cool and dry. Annual maintenance is critical to ensuring that your cooling system is running reliably and efficiently. A dirty, unmaintained air conditioner not only costs you money in the form of more frequent repairs and a shortened lifespan of the unit, but every time it's running in the form of higher utility bills. Consider these facts:

“A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool – wasting energy and leading to expensive repairs and/or early system failure...A buildup of .042(1/20) inches of dirt on the heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease inefficiency of 21%.” – EnergyStar.gov

“1/8th of an inch of dirt and dust build-upon the blower wheel can reduce airflow by up to 30%” – Texas A&M Study

Scheduled maintenance will ensure that your air conditioner is running efficiently and at peak performance.
It's that time of year again when many Connecticut homeowners are deciding whether to replace their old, inefficient central air conditioner with a new model. If it's been 10-20 years since your replaced your air conditioner you may be surprised at how far the technology has evolved. Here are just a few of the improvements that new central air conditioners have to offer:

Less Noise

By redesigning the shape of fan blades manufacturers have been able to make air conditioners run with much less noise. In addition, newer refrigerants enable compressors to operate more quietly.

Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants

Unlike the Freon® coolant used over a decade ago that caused damage to the earth's ozone layer, newer R410A are environmentally friendly and also perform better.

Lower Energy Use

Decades ago it was not uncommon for a central air conditioner to consume 6,000 watts of electricity every hour to cool a typical house. Today, that level has been reduced to around 1,700 watts an hour, thanks to technology like variable speed fans and scroll compressors.

For all your home air conditioning needs, call Air Specialties Air Conditioning and Heating.

The answer usually depends on the age of your cooling system

A residential air conditioner or heat pump will typically use one of two kinds of refrigerant: R-22 (also called as Freon) or HCFC-22. If your air conditioner was manufactured prior to 2010, it will use HCFC-22.

R-22, or Freon, is damaging to the earth's ozone layer and is being phased out and replaced with more environmentally friendly refrigerants. The most common replacement for R-22 in central air conditioners is R410A, also known as Puron. If your central air conditioner is still using R-22, it will not be compatible with R410A.

When you upgrade to a R-410A central cooling system, a new line set and new evaporator coil will be installed to replace the older R-22 equipment. R-410A cooling systems have proven to be dependable, efficient and quieter.

Have questions about your home's cooling system? Call Air Specialties Air Conditioning and Heating, we can help with all your AC installation, repair and maintenance needs.

How a Central Air Conditioner Works


With our steamy Connecticut summers, a central air conditioner is not just a luxury, it's a necessity. Air conditioners work hard to keep our homes comfortable, but have you ever thought about how they work? Here's a brief overview.


Split Systems


A typical central cooling system is a split system, meaning it consists of an outdoor unit housing a condenser coil and compressor, and an indoor evaporator coil, usually installed in conjunction with an air handler inside the house.


The AC Compressor


The compressor pumps a chemical refrigerant through the indoor evaporator coil. As warm air inside your home blows across the evaporator coil, the heat energy is transferred to the refrigerant inside the coil. It's this transfer of heat that cools the air. The heat absorbed by the refrigerant is sent outside while cooled air is blown back inside. This condensing process also removes excess humidity from the air.


Air Ducts


A home's ductwork is designed to distribute conditioned air throughout your home, it also returns air to the air handler to repeat the process again.


Thermostat


The thermostat is the "brains" of the central heating and cooling system. Once the temperature is programmed, it maintains an even temperature. Some thermostats can be programmed to work on a schedule, saving energy when the house is unoccupied.



Have questions about your central air conditioner? Call Air Specialties, we're here to help.

Quick Tips For Home Owners - Air Conditioners

Maintaining your home's air conditioner is the key to ensuring that it runs reliably and efficiently all season long. Watch the video below to learn more.