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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
During a typical Connecticut summer the air can be hot and muggy outside, which can mean excess moisture inside. Excessive indoor humidity is not just uncomfortable, it can lead to unhealthy mold, musty odors and condensation that can damage wood surfaces and paint.
In today's tight, well insulated homes, excess moisture can make your air conditioner work harder to keep the air cool and dry. To help keep the air dryer, a dehumidifier can be an effective solution.
As warm, humid air is blown across a cold coil by a fan, moisture condenses into liquid, which can be removed through a drain pipe. The dry air then passes over a warm coil and is added back into the room. Dehumidifiers are controlled by an instrument called a dehumidistat, which turns the unit on and off depending on the amount of moisture detected in the air. The level of moisture is controlled by a dehumidistat, which turns the unit on and off. A dehumidifier's capacity is measured in pints of water removed every 24 hours.
A whole house dehumidifier is designed to work in conjunction with your home's heating and air conditioning system by monitoring and controlling the level of humidity. It operates quietly and is easily maintained by cleaning a filter.
Have questions about controlling excess humidity in your home? Call Air Specialties, we're here to help.
The heat exchanger is one of the most critical components of a furnace's heating system. It's where the combustion gasses enter after exiting the burners to dissipate the heated air. As the combustion gasses are drawn into the heat exchanger, heat is transferred onto the heat exchanger walls. The combustion gasses, which are at this point beginning to cool down, exit through exhaust pipes by a draft inducer blower and are sent out of the home. In a high efficiency furnace, these gasses go through a second heat exchanger where even more heat is extracted before they are vented out of the home.
As part of the heating process, a blower motor and fan take air from inside the home and draw it across the heat exchanger, which has been heated by the combustion gasses. The air picks up heat from the heat exchanger walls and is blown through the home's ductwork, where it then exits through vents throughout the home.
Because the heat exchanger is also responsible for removing exhaust fumes from the home, it's important that a qualified heating technician inspect it for any cracks or damage that can cause dangerous carbon monoxide gas (CO) to leak into the living space.
Have questions about your furnace heat exchanger? Call Air Specialties Heating and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.
Starting after April 15, 2015, The U.S. Department of Energy will put into effect new regulations that will require all manufacturers of water heaters to meet a higher energy factor (EF) ratings. Based on the new requirements, there will be significant changes to the design and size of water heaters. This includes gas, oil and electric water heaters. Tankless water heaters already meet the new requirements and are not affected.
· Higher priced units – up to 35% more expensive.
· Larger units – 2” tall and 2” wider, and in some cases units may be even larger.
· More complex installation requirements
· Possible significant home remodeling costs if your water heater is located in a small space like a closet or attic.
These new regulations are being made to improve the efficiency of water heaters, which will result in lower energy costs for homeowners.
According to manufacturer’s suggested service life, the average lifespan of a water heater is about 8-12 years. Homeowners with water heaters 10 years old or older need to seriously consider replacing it now, before the regulations go into effect and costs go up.
If you decide to install a water heater before the new regulations take place, Air Specialties can install a new, earlier model water heater. Have questions? Give us a call, we're here to help.
Pinging or popping sounds often happen when the air ducts expand and contract and are usually nothing to worry about.
This can indicate a serious problem with the furnace, such as a loose motor mount, that you should have a technician check as soon as possible.
When the furnace shuts down the hot metal parts will often make a crackling sound as they cool down.
Loud booming sounds may come from air ducts as they expand and contract in very cold weather, especially when a basement is unheated. It can also indicate the furnace has dirty burners that should be serviced by a heating technician.
If these sounds are accompanied by a blower that is turning on and off more frequently or is blowing cool air, it may be time to have Air Specialties inspect the unit.
Each year thousands of people are sickened by carbon monoxide. Because the CO gas is colorless and odorless, it's important to take steps to prevent CO poisoning in the home.
Ensure that your heating system is operating safely by having an annual cleaning and safety inspection performed.
Check appliances and vents for visible soot stains, blockage and corrosion. An improperly vented appliance such as a gas water heater or dryer can cause exhaust fumes to enter the home.
Never use a gas oven to heat your home
It's important that every level of your home have a CO detector installed. The detectors should be installed near bedrooms. When a CO detector detects and elevated level of dangerous gas, an alarm will go off alerting you of potential danger.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
If you experience these symptoms get out of the home and seek emergency medical treatment immediately. Keep still to conserve oxygen in the blood.
When moving into a new house there are many things to inspect to ensure there are no hidden surprises. One of the most important is the home's heating system. Taking the time to ask questions and inspect the furnace or boiler can save you potential headaches down the road.
Here are some things to look for:
1. Turn on the furnace and listen for unusual noises. Squeaks and rattles could indicate a mechanical problem, lack of maintenance or just indicate an older furnace that is showing its age.
2. Ask the real estate agent for the age of the furnace or boiler. A gas furnace will typically last 15-20 years. Also, keep in mind that older heating systems can be more costly to operate.
3. Check the unit's EnergySTAR® rating. If you're lucky the label will still be attached to the unit. If not, the unit's serial number can be used to contact the manufacturer for efficiency information.
Finally, for your peace of mind, it's always a good idea to have the home's heating and cooling system inspected by a professional to identify any potential problems that could end up costing you money in repairs or higher utility bills.
Have questions about heating and cooling systems? Call Air Specialties. We're here to help.
When it comes to choosing the right furnace air filter, there are many options available. The efficiency of furnace filters is measured on the MERV scale, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, which rates filter efficiency on a scale of 1-20.
On the low end of the cost scale and MERV scale with a rating of 1-3 are disposable fiberglass filters. Made of 1-inch thick fiberglass, these filters are designed to prevent larger particles of dust, lint, and other debris from damaging your furnace.
Disposable pleated furnace filters are probably the most popular option. These filters are made from polyester or cotton paper and remove smaller particles like mold spores and mites, but should be changed frequently to avoid clogging and reducing airflow to the furnace. Pleated filters have a MERV rating of 6 and cost more than fiberglass filters.
The most effective furnace air filters are disposable or permanent electrostatic filters. With a MERV rating of 10 or higher, they offer highly effective filtration and are recommended for homes with persons with allergies or upper respiratory conditions.
Have questions about furnace filters and indoor air quality? Call Air Specialties Air Conditioning and Heating, we're here to help.