Why Does the Temperature in Your Home Matter?

 

Consider how much time you spend inside your home. For most families, the home serves as a sanctuary away from work and other daily responsibilities. Your home should be a safe and comfortable space that allows you to get things done when you want to and relax when you need it. For these reasons and more, the temperature in your home matters as it can impact different areas of your life.

Why Indoor Air Temperature Matters

Here are a few reasons why the temperature of your home matters for you and your family:

Indoor air temperature keeps your home comfortable.

This is probably the most obvious answer to this question. The temperature inside of your home helps you create a comfortable environment for you and your family. Whether you are making a meal in the kitchen, enjoying time with your family in the living room, or laying down for a much needed rest in your bedroom, the temperature of your home affects your ability to relax and feel comfortable.

If it is too hot or too cold for your liking, it can be difficult to focus on tasks or enjoy the time you spend at home. Temperatures that are too high may cause you to feel irritable or have difficulty relaxing, while temperatures that are too low may make it hard for you to think or focus and also make completing simple tasks harder.

The temperature inside your home can affect your health.

There are a variety of ways that your home temperature can affect your health. For instance, hot and humid houses are a breeding ground for mold and dust mites, which can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues. Mayo Clinic suggests maintaining a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (or 20-22 degrees Celsius) and keeping humidity no higher than 50 percent.

Home temperatures can also impact your sleep quality, which is a vital part of maintaining a healthy body and mind. Sleep specialist, Dr. Christopher Winter suggests keeping your bedroom between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep as anything above 75 or below 54 degrees can disrupt your sleeping patterns. This is because your internal body temperature naturally cools off when you fall asleep, so lower room temperatures can help support a deeper sleep.

Temperature impacts your energy usage (and electricity costs).

The temperature in your home also significantly affects your rates of energy usage, which in turn impact your electricity costs. In fact, according to the California Energy Commission, you can save up to five percent in heating costs for every degree that you lower your thermostat between 60 and 70 degrees.

The harder that your HVAC system has to work to maintain indoor temperatures, the more energy that you use. There are measures that you can take to become more energy efficient and improve the temperature balance in your home. Installing better insulation helps you eliminate air loss and improve efficiency. Programmable thermostats can also help you better control temperatures when you are not at home, which helps cut down on wasted energy.

From servicing your HVAC unit to keep it running properly to installing a programmable thermostat, there are many ways that an HVAC professional can help you ensure that your home is just the right temperature. If you need help getting comfortable, don’t hesitate to contact us right away.

The Most Common HVAC Myths: Debunked

Everyone wants to get the most out of their HVAC system. In order to do this, you need to properly run and regularly maintain the unit. However, there are many misconceptions out there that can keep you from prolonging the life of your air conditioning or heating system.

Common HVAC Myths: Debunked

Below, we bust some of the most common HVAC myths so that you can educate yourself on the best ways to prolong the life of your HVAC unit.

Myth: Closing air vents will help you use save energy and lower your electric bills.

Debunked: Many people think that if they just close the air vents in rooms where the AC is not being used, it will help save energy, and thus lower their electricity costs. The truth is that closing your air vents does not reduce the amount of air being pushed throughout the room. Instead, the pressure load will be balanced throughout the remaining rooms. Closing vents can actually throw the HVAC system out of balance, causing it to work harder and actually use more energy.

Myth: Setting the thermostat all the way up or all the way down will help heat or cool down your home faster.

Debunked: Your HVAC system will work at the same power level no matter what temperature you set the thermostat to. Many people think that if they set the thermostat to a temperature a few degrees warmer or cooler than they actually want it, this will speed the process up. It does not, and it can in fact waste energy.

Myth: Maintenance is only necessary if your HVAC unit is broken or malfunctioning.

Debunked: You may have heard the phrase, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Though this may apply to some things in life, your HVAC unit is not one of them. Just like your car requires regular oil changes and maintenance to perform its best, so does your HVAC system. Scheduling an appointment with an experienced HVAC technician can help you find issues before they occur, which can save you time and money in the long run.

Myth: Buying an energy-efficient HVAC unit will lower your electric bills instantly.

Debunked: Though it is true that energy-efficient HVAC units can help you significantly decrease your energy use and lower your electricity bills, this is only the case if you purchase the right size model for your home. Additionally, you need to continue practicing other energy saving tactics like adjusting the thermostat when you are not home and making sure that your home is well-insulated for optimal savings.

Myth: A fan works just as well as your AC to cool down a room.

Debunked: The AC works to cool down the temperature of the room, while a fan just circulates the air. Many people think that fans and air conditioners work the same because they can both help you cool off. However, a fan cools you off by increasing air circulation and allowing the sweat to evaporate off the skin faster. This means that a fan will not make the room cooler on its own. In fact, if you are leaving fans on when no one is in the room, you are actually wasting energy.

Do you have any other questions about your HVAC system and how to keep it running efficiently? We would be happy to confirm or debunk any information you’ve heard about your heating or cooling system. Contact us today.

Here are Some Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying New HVAC Equipment

No matter how reliably it has served you, eventually your HVAC equipment will start to falter. Service technicians may be able to patch it up and keep it chugging along for a while, but eventually Father Time will render its final verdict and condemn your furnace and/or air conditioner to the scrap heap.

Once this happens you’ll need to move quickly to purchase new equipment. But if you rush in without a good plan of action you could end up you stuck with an overpriced, ineffective HVAC system.

If You’re Buying New HVAC Equipment, Please Don’t …

Fail to get multiple estimates

HVAC equipment and installation are inherently costly and every dollar you save should be considered precious. Therefore it behooves you to look around and collect a number of estimates—and read all the fine print on those offers to be sure there are no hidden fees or other nasty surprises.

Fail to fully investigate any contractor you consider

Most HVAC contractors are honest but not all of them are. Bad online reviews, Better Business Bureau complaints, a lack of an established history in the community and an unwillingness to hire fully certified service technicians are warning signs that should not be ignored.

Automatically choose the lowest-priced equipment or the lowest bid for installation services

Any bid that seems unrealistically low should be viewed with suspicion. You don’t want to fall for bait-and-switch schemes that quote a super-low price upfront but hit you with big charges down the line (for “unexpected complications,” “unanticipated cost overruns,” etc.). If it seems too good to be true it probably is.

Overlook the Significance of SEER

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings, which measure the energy- and cost-efficiency of HVAC systems. Equipment with a SEER number of 16 is considered high-efficiency and in comparison to older models could save you a couple hundred bucks a year in energy costs.

Purchase the Wrong-Sized Equipment

If you’ve done any remodeling in your home those alterations may have changed your heating and cooling needs. You may now require a smaller or larger HVAC system than you did in the past; the only way to know for sure is to ask an HVAC contractor to send a professional to your home to perform a heating/cooling load analysis, which is a precise calculation of your indoor climate regulation needs.

Miss out on rebates that can cut your costs

Good contractors are happy to provide details about manufacturer rebates. Meanwhile every state offers rebates for the purchase of technology that promotes energy-efficiency (including HVAC equipment), and you can find out what’s available in your state by checking out this website.

Fail to get the details of the installation in writing

In particular you’ll want your HVAC contractor to provide a specific timeline for the project, preferably with a five percent penalty included if the contractor fails to meet the deadline.

Overlook the importance of a maintenance plan

Maintenance plans are offered directly by HVAC contractors and can help prevent expensive problems from developing down the line. For a small cost you can get free inspections and cleanings annually or biannually, plus discounts on equipment and service calls that can save you a bundle.

Amber Air Conditioning Offers Great HVAC Solutions

If you live in the Amber Air Conditioning service area and are in the market for new HVAC equipment, we invite you to contact us for more information. We are an Authorized Dealer for high-quality Carrier products, which are setting new industry standards for energy-efficient excellence, and our NATE-certified technicians are trained to handle all of your installation needs.

Follow us here for more valuable insights about your heating, cooling and air quality management needs.

3 Signs that it is time to Replace your Furnace

Keeping warn during the winter is high on everyone list, but is your Furnace getting the job down? Give us a call and we will be sure to test your HVAC system, we service Corona, Lake Elsinore and Menifee.

3 Signs that it is time to Replace your Furnace

Do HVAC Systems Emit Greenhouse Gases?

According to most environmentalists, the ozone layer is getting depleted by greenhouse gases, some of which are emitted by HVAC equipment. This applies for all types of systems, including central, portable and wall-mounted AC units. The ozone layer is what protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. The gradual depletion of this stratum increases the rate of UV penetration, which permanently raises the earth’s temperature in a process known as global warming.

How A/C Systems Work

Air conditioners are comprised of internal electric coils and an electric pump to transfer air between the outdoors and indoors. The cooling mechanism, known as the evaporator, is what transmits cool air into the house while the hot coil (condenser) releases warm air outdoors. A compressor pump is included to move the refrigerant between these two components, alternately changing it between liquid and gaseous states in order to move the cool and warm air.

Do HVAC Systems Emit Greenhouse Gases?

In the past, air conditioners used chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the liquid refrigerant. As the harmful effects of CFCs began to emerge, manufacturers shifted to halogenated chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These are significantly less harmful than conventional refrigerants.

To combat the harm caused by greenhouse gases on the ozone layer, steps have been taken by authorities. These ensure that HVAC equipment manufacturers only produce devices that are friendlier to the environment and more energy efficient. The production of HCFCs is scheduled to be phased out by 2030.

Increasing the Efficiency of HVAC Systems

The Energy Star program is a joint effort between the Department of Energy and the EPA which sets energy efficiency standards. AC equipment that is Energy Star-rated uses about 10% less energy than traditional units. Some devices even have timers to regulate energy consumption during their operation.

Consumers are encouraged to purchase eco-friendly devices that bear the Energy Star seal. Air conditioner efficiency can be further be boosted by improving insulation around the house, sealing any existing leaks on ducts and ensuring that the unit’s adjustable louvers tightly fit into the window frame. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

What Is An Air Handler?

An Air Handler is a vital part of any split system HVAC system.

Also known as an Air Handling Unit, (AHC) an Air Handler is the device within an HVAC or heat pump air conditioning system that “handles” the air that is brought in through the intake to be prepared for either heating or cooling. It prepares the air, by either removing or adding heat, depending on the season and the system in use. It actually changes the air that is being brought in. The Air Handler then circulates the air through the HVAC system for disbursement through the space to be heated or cooled. Smaller units are called “coils” and are used in split systems, those that act as both an air conditioning and heating system.

In larger systems, typically known as MAUs, for makeup air unit, the system actually does not handle re-circulated air. All air is brought in from the outside. These systems typically tend to be built more robustly than your average handler, as they must deal with larger volumes of air to condition a larger space. These outdoor units are also known as package units, or rooftop units. Schools, hospitals, and other large facilities employee these units for their use. They are built simply, with the design facilitating space utilization, durability, and cost effectiveness. A split system, air handling system will not be ideal for every climate. As every climate is different, thought should be given to the type of system you invest in.

Depending on the regular climate where you live, you can easily decide which type of unit you may need. In areas of high heat and humidity, you will want a solid condenser unit built into your HVAC system in order to maximize the air handling process. This will work to deliver maximum air cooling more economically than a singular unit. For those living in cooler or less humid climes, a heat pump/air handler system should be adequate to provide what you need in cooling and/or heating your house.

Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently

Top HVAC Technologies For The Coming Year

The HVAC industry has been experiencing robust growth and impressive innovations throughout the third quarter of 2015. Industry players have not rested on their laurels but have been busy developing and launching new products. For entrepreneurs in the HVAC niche, it is worth keeping abreast of these developments. HVAC technology in 2016 will likely focus on the following areas:

  1. Mobile device based HVAC maintenance and servicingExpect to see innovations in smartphone or tablet applications for monitoring HVAC systems remotely (for maintenance purposes). With this in mind, companies that focus on leveraging the power of mobile apps to address HVAC maintenance issues could become the dominant market players, according to the business development and digital marketing director at Goodway Technologies Corp, Tim Robb.
  2. Smarter HVAC systemsIt seems inevitable that electronic gadgets and equipment that contain electronic components are poised to get smarter. This is not surprising given the Internet-of-things (IoT) field has generated a lot of buzz in tech and business circles lately. According to Hal Conick of HPAC Engineering, HVAC contractors can use IoT technology to automate processes such as service and sales. By doing so, they will improve operational efficiency. This is in addition to better service delivery after analyzing data to pinpoint problem areas.
  3. Growing demand in new HVAC installationsThanks to a relatively stable and growing construction industry, HVAC installations are on the rise as well. Data published by PM Magazine shows that demand for HVAC installation in non-residential projects rose by 4.2% year-on-year through November 2014. Installations in the residential sector will rise significantly in 2015, according to a study carried out by ASHRAE.
  4. Demand for software tools to manage HVAC business processesHVAC industry players are clamoring for software tools that can make their business processes more efficient. A good example of this is an easy to use and mobile-friendly enterprise software solution that can make service delivery seamless and effective.

Conclusion

With the last quarter of 2015 underway, businesses and entrepreneurs should focus on HVAC technology in 2016. Some of these expectations include software tools for managing business processes, rising demand for HVAC installations, and smarter HVAC systems. Follow us for more articles that keep your HVAC system running efficiently and saving you money.

Should You Buy From A Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer?

Buying your Carrier HVAC system from an authorized dealer is a very good idea. You may be wondering why we are saying this but we do have facts to back this assertion. Just take a look at what a Carrier factory authorized dealer can offer you as compared to a conventional HVAC retailer.

  1. We have been tested extensively by the Carrier Company. As you know, Carrier is an international company with a hefty reputation. Before they sign up with any dealer, they vet each retailer thoroughly and we passed with flying colors. This means our reputation and our sales procedures meet Carrier standards .
  2. We offer only Carrier goods. This may seem like a disadvantage when compared with retailers but it is actually a benefit. As we deal only with one company, we know it completely. We know the products, their drawbacks, their indications and we can help you choose the best and most affordable product for your needs. Retailers that carry multiple brands don’t have the time to investigate each company and they don’t know all the products. What is the guarantee that you are getting the best product for your needs?
  3. Carrier has been around for decades and it is an international company traded on international stock markets. They are here to stay. Retailers that stock new brands or cheaper brands may not be able to guarantee their future or the future of the products. If a company like XYZ shuts down, where will you find technicians, spare parts or maintenance contracts?
  4. Carrier allows its dealers to offer a dealer discount. At the same time, the dealer will also throw in freebies according to his discretion. Multiple product retailers may not be able to offer this perk.

As you can see, we care about our customers. Instead of choosing a retailer who deals with thousands of products, sign up with an authorized Carrier factory retailer. Write in to us through the comments section or email us for more information. By doing this, you are choosing a partner that cares for you and your comfort. Also, follow our blog for more articles about heating, cooling and maintenance for your home needs.

How Important Is It To Get The Right Size Of Heating And Cooling Equipment?

HVAC sizing is one of the most important steps in the process of procuring the right cooling and heating equipment. This is because installing a larger HVAC equipment than necessary will increase the procurement and installation cost. Furthermore, there may not be enough space for installation. On the other hand, HVAC equipment that is too small for the room may not be able to heat or cool the room effectively. In fact, it may malfunction on a regular basis. Its lifespan will also be shortened because of the frequent breakdowns. Therefore, HVAC equipment should be properly sized and installed to ensure efficient operation and an extended lifespan.

 

HVAC Sizing Procedure

To identify the heating or cooling capacity required in a building, the design, shape, orientation and size of the house, local climate, insulation levels, roof surface color, number and age of occupants, types of appliances emitting heat, thickness of the wall, window location and type, air filtration rate and comfort preferences of the occupants must all be considered.

The estimator will also consider wall size, floor area, window sizes, building materials used to make the home and the type of insulation among other things. With these facts in hand, the estimator can give you the BTU rating required to cool the room as well as the rating of the perfect heating system for your home.

By properly sizing your HVAC system, you can have peace of mind knowing that the system will perform energy-efficiently, meaning low energy costs for you. It will also make your home comfortable throughout the seasons. Furthermore, proper sizing will ensure the system continues to perform efficiently throughout its rated lifespan.

It is possible for the average person to do HVAC sizing without any help. After all, all that is needed is a tape measure and basic mathematical skills to find the number of BTUs needed to cool the rooms in your home. However, it is recommended that you hire a reputable HVAC company to do proper sizing, help you procure the right HVAC equipment and do the installation. Now that you know the importance of HVAC sizing, you can start thinking about finding the right estimator. Follow us for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.

Should I Leave Interior Doors Open Or Closed During Heating And Cooling?

Recently, researchers have found out that simply keeping a bedroom door closed can adversely affect comfort, safety and health in a house. This is because it blocks the air’s pathway, thus reducing air flow into the room and through the system as well. Pressurization of the room, which is caused by air trapped within the space, forces the cool air out of the house. All this has a significant impact on the energy efficiency of a house.

How Closed Doors Affect Energy Efficiency

When air is forced out of a room under pressure, an equal amount needs to be drawn so as to replace the expelled draught. Depending on the number of closed doors, the rate of entry of hot or cold outside air could go up by anything between 300% and 900%. This raises utility bills, decreases comfort and brings in a host of health problems.
Since fluids seek the path of least resistance, the largest, straightest and smoothest holes offer the best pathways. Such include the water heater flue, chimney and furnace flue. This reverse flow of air brings in outdoor pollutants and humidity. The only noticeable symptom of this effect would be smoke being pumped back into the house.
Typically, indoor humidity will be at a level that’s more than 60%. Other telltale signs include streaks around the bedroom doors. There are charts that enable homeowners calculate the amount of air flowing into the building, which would be helpful. In some cases, the house could be drawing in about 1000 cubic feet of air per minute when all doors are closed.

Solutions

Such issues can be tackled by relieving the pressure in the bedrooms. This stops the carbon monoxide sensor from going off. The indoor humidity also plummets to an acceptable level, which creates conditions that are unfavorable for mold growth. Of course, any mold that’s already grown would need to be cleaned up.

One can also undercut the door by a few inches to allow the escape of air. However, some homeowners would find this unacceptable. As such, a return duct that goes back to the AC unit in each room can be installed to provide the necessary pathway. It can however be very expensive.

A cheaper solution would be the installation of transfer grilles or jump ducts to allow air movement between rooms. These give air a path back to the system which is always open. However, they don’t transfer sounds and cannot be seen through. This can be installed by the homeowner if they’re equipped with sufficient DIY skills or by a competent HVAC contractor. Follow our blog for more great HVAC information