Heat Pumps Vs Air Conditioners

Although it is called a heat pump, this appliance can be used as an air conditioner too. It functions by transporting heat, rather than generating it (in contrast to a furnace), which is the reason it is called a dual purpose appliance. Much is often said about the efficiency of heat pumps. However, the majority of air conditioners are roughly equal, with regards to energy efficiency.

Understanding HSPF and SEER

Air conditioners are given SEER ratings for efficiency. The higher the rating, the less expensive it is to run. There’s not much difference between 26 and 23.5; however, and the efficiency varies from model to model. HSPF is another type of rating for heat pumps. According to Johnathan from onthespothvac.com: “HSPF is an acronym for ‘heating seasonal performance factor.” It informs you how efficiently the appliance heats a room. Be aware of the following efficiency rating examples, that air conditioners are typically just as good – if not better than heat pumps – based on the model you buy. The biggest difference between the examples is that air conditioners only cool your property, whereas heat pumps can warm it up.

Is Climate a Relevant Consideration With Heat Pumps?

The majority of heat pumps work best in hotter climates, with milder winters, apart from integrated units that need heat pumps for backups — like with geothermal units. We advise speaking to a NATE qualified HVAC technician, who works in your area, before choosing a heat pump. If the appliance isn’t suitable for your property, your electricity bills could be expensive. After the temperature drops too low, it is extremely difficult for a heat pump to extract heat from the atmosphere, so it might not achieve the temperature shown on your thermostat. Consequently, you might end up operating your heat pump constantly, or turning your emergency heat on round the clock during the winter. This will increase your energy use significantly.

Heat Pumps Versus Furnaces

Furnaces are more powerful heating systems and are crucial for certain cooler climates. This is because heat pumps have problems when temperatures reach roughly fourty degrees Fahrenheit. While it might sound strange, during chillier temperatures, heat pumps are meant to take heat from outside and use this to make indoor air warmer. The outdoor air might feel cold, but there’s still lots of heat available for heat pumps to work OK. However, in particularly cold areas, there’s insufficient heat outdoors to raise the indoor temperature enough to keep warm. Therefore, although heat pumps might be fine over the winter for Daytona Beach residents, people living in the Big Apple who have heat pumps might need furnaces as well, for the more severe temperatures. If you live in these cooler climates and do not have a furnace to use when the temperature reaches freezing, your heat pump might operate for hours attempting to warm your property sufficiently for comfort.

Achieving Optimum Heat Pump Efficiency

In lots of states, a heat pump can work with a geothermal system, and the source of heat is more environmentally friendly because it doesn’t burn fossil fuel. Rather, it uses the planet’s current temperature to cool and heat. This is an excellent substitute for certain northern climates. However, additional land has to be available to fit the required piping for such a system.

As far as home comfort goes, you probably won’t want other things to worry about; however, don’t forget, it is vital to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each cooling and heating system. By doing this, you will avoid buying a system that malfunctions when severe temperatures arise or buying a couple of systems when you could have spent less on one.

You can contact us at any time to discuss your air conditioning needs, and make sure that you select the most suitable system for your property.

Why You Should Maintain Your Furnace

Reasons to carry out Regular Furnaces Maintenance

Heating furnaces are the largest energy consumers in our homes. For instance, furnaces take a large portion of bills paid by Americans to an average of 45 percent of the total bills. There is every reason to ensure that a furnace is running efficiently and adequately thus ensuring the bills are reduced as possible. Reducing energy costs require regular furnace maintenance and checkups.

Regular checks are necessary because they detect a problem before it comes into play. However, many people wait until furnaces stop functioning due to damages. It also ensures that shopping for furnaces is done in time; hence wise decisions are made, as more time is available for considerations. Regular checkups ensure less downtime.

How to Maintain Furnaces

Cleaning and replacing furnace filters is important. Ideally, filters in the furnaces play a central role in ensuring that heat and warm air is evenly distributed within the home. Normally, filters are installed where the return ducts enter a furnace. Filters remove air particles before entering the furnace for heating. They filter all kinds of impurities contained in the air such as dust, dust mites, spores, bacterial, pet tenders among others.

However, the quality of functioning of the filters depends on their price. Cheap filters offer basic protection as they are designed to purify a more significant percentage of the air particles that flow into the furnace. On the other hand, expensive air filters provide improved air filtering services. This ensures that high-quality air is within the home good for asthmatic and allergic individuals.

Furnaces will have a low inflow of air when the airflow ducts leading the air into the furnace are impeded by dirt. Therefore, they will not operate efficiently. Cheap furnaces, thus, must be replaced within a period of 30 to 90 days. Expensive air filters can last more than three months; however, depending on the quality of the furnace. It is important to shop high-quality furnaces and always ask the manufactures recommendations or certified technicians to guide you properly before shopping.

To ensure furnaces are functionary efficient, the blower motor must be checked regularly. The heating element of the furnace heats the air until the required temperature is reached and blower motors push that air to the heat exchanger. The furnace blowers further ensure the provision of sufficient air to the air conditioning system. The air is evenly distributed within the home and ensures it has the required warmth.

The air filters are installed at the air furnace blowers. Blow motor has many essential working parts and if they are not adequately maintained, they will breakdown quickly. When furnace blowers start producing funny sounds and noise, they indicate that they have developed a problem. The faulty can be at the motor of the blower or the blower wheel.

High and shrill sounds denote that the metals are in contact and grinding each other. The metals are possibly from a blower wheel hanging free from the blower motor shaft and brawling the inside casing. Loud humming sounds denote electrical malfunctioning. Trained technicians are the right people to help in the identification of the real source of the problem, amend it before worsening, and damage the entire furnace equipment.

It is important to reduce the home heating loads by sealing all leakages leading cold air into the house. Such leakages allow in more cold air thus requiring more warm air to replace the cold air, especially during winter seasons. HVAC contractors carry out home assessments and determine such leakages that lead to heat loss. Further, the use of specialized equipment and cameras can help to identify where the problems lie within the house; therefore, carry out the appropriate steps and make improvements.

Ensuring that all household vents are free is essential. For heating furnace systems to work efficiently, the air within the house should circulate evenly throughout the system. This means that the furnace is completely functional and in operation. Again, it means the vents are clear and working efficiently. Therefore, ensuring in-house vents are open, properly adjusted to lead inflow properly, free them from furniture, boxes and other blockages is important. Closing the airflow spaces of the vents makes the furnaces struggle to deliver and finally damage earlier than expected.

For the gas furnaces, verification of the exhaust flue leading to the outside is important. Exhaust flue needs prompt attention to remove carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide impurities. Such components are found in the exhaust vents when they are not serviced well. Thus when exhaust flue blocks free inflow of air is limited and are likely to occur quickly. Additionally, such blockages can lead to health challenges such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, collapse, death, heart problems, and unconsciousness. When such obstructions are realized, contacting a qualified technician is important.

Removing flammable objects around the furnace is also important. Usually, furnaces are installed at specific areas within the house that is the basement, crawl space, and the storage rooms. The furnaces, therefore, should not stay within other materials and objects placed around them. Flammable objects are the most dangerous. They include aerosols, gasoline, clothes, and paints. They have high chances of catching fire and burn the whole building.

Cleaning the ductwork and heating system vents is necessary. Cleaning should be done regularly and promptly to ensure that the furnaces are always in good working condition. Cleaning removes dust, paper scraps, pet hairs, and other impurities. Such impurities drastically reduce the working efficiency of the furnaces. Cleaning the furnace vents and other areas take shorter time and effort but ensure the equipment is in a perfect working condition.

Carrying regular furnace maintenance ensures that the possible damages and faults are taken care of at the right time. Efficient working furnaces reduce energy costs and ensure a steady supply of warmth within the house evenly. Furnace maintenance includes repairs, cleaning the vents, removal of objects surrounding them, reducing the heating loads, checking the functionality of the motors and fixing the furnaces vents. This will ensure reduced energy bills and extend the life of the furnace.

Why Air Conditioning is Important To Your Health

Stepping inside from the heat to an air-conditioned home or office is something we all appreciate, and air conditioning can definitely make those hot summers more bearable.

Recommended humidity levels are between 30 and 50 percent, although the humidity outdoors can sometimes reach as high as 94 percent. Think of it this way: about 7,300 litres of water will pass through the typical house, just from the humidity, according to Tarion.

And humidity at 60 percent during the winter doesn’t feel the same as 60 percent humidity in summer. It’s all to do with heat, water, and pressure interacting and RH, or relative humidity is a much more accurate indicator of how hot it really feels. Air conditioning is considered an essential investment to most of us to help cope with those high humidity level, although there are several other reasons why AC is useful.

Your air conditioner can help to offset some of the risks to your health and your property that high humidity levels can have. Air conditioning can help us on a daily basis as these five reasons indicate:

1) Preventing Damage to Your Home and Belongings

One of the priceless paintings by Raphael was actually damaged by an air conditioning unit that wasn’t working properly. Because the gallery owners just didn’t realize how important AC is, one of the world’s great works of art was badly damaged. The air conditioner that was being used in the art gallery just wasn’t able to cope with the hundreds of humid and warm bodies that were crowding around the painting, trying to get a peek at it.

Your kitchen cabinets and any sensitive items such as musical instruments and electronics should be kept away from an environment that is very humid, or one that has little humidity. The Raphael story is a good example of just how important and costly this can be. You really run the risk of damaging your furniture, clothing and other belongings if you don’t effectively monitor and regulate the humidity levels in your home. And of course, your home can lose its value over time, if it’s suffered damage caused by the humidity being too high.

2) Unwanted Guests Come With High Humidity

Pest control and humidity go hand in hand, and by lowering your humidity levels by about 50 percent, you can help prevent an infestation of dust mites.

Bugs and pests are also attracted by organic decay, which tends to increase if your humidity levels are higher. The small creatures in your neighbourhood look at your house as being a source of free food if you allow your humidity levels to increase in the summer. Once they notice those high levels of humidity, you may find it a challenge to get rid of them.

3) Toxicity and High Humidity

Formaldehyde and other potentially dangerous chemicals can seep out of your furniture and other belongings, and into the air, you are breathing. The rates at which these chemicals seep out is increased if you have higher humidity. You are probably allowing more of these chemicals into your home if you don’t have AC, and are risking your health and safety.

Mould starts to appear pretty quickly in a humid environment as it needs water to grow, and many types of mould are only present in areas that have high humidity. Many moulds are harmful to people, and even if not harmful they can be unpleasant and unhealthy.

4) Humidity Can Make You Sick

High humidity just isn’t good for your immune system. Not everyone is aware of that, although most of us know that low humidity during the winter generally isn’t the best thing for our health. It’s probably one of the most important reasons to have an air conditioner in your home.

Increased levels of mould spores floating around in the air can often lead to an adverse reaction in people, and of course, many allergy sufferers are going to find their condition worsens because of the extra pests and dirt in the air. If you have respiratory issues, an air conditioning unit is highly recommended to reduce the levels of humidity in your home, as your doctor will probably tell you.

5) Humidity Affects Your Mood

The connection between high humidity levels and a poor mood has been explored in more than one study, most notably in 1975 by Persinger. And it’s not too hard to see why this is so.

The negative experiences that are outlined above and that are all a result of humidity levels can affect people significantly and can make your life quite miserable. If your overall life is uncomfortable and inconvenient, you are obviously going to feel that much more miserable or depressed. And if you have ever been uncomfortable and miserable sitting on a hot bus with no air conditioner, you know just how true that is.