The Ductwork

It is not necessary to become a certified HVAC technician, but a homeowner ought to have an understanding of the air-conditioning system that cools his or her home during warm months. The ductwork is not something out in the open to be seen, yet it plays a very important role in keeping the house at a comfortable temperature.

The Basic Operation

Air is drawn into the air conditioning system by fans and within the Air Handling Unit (AHU) the air is cooled. The air is then circulated back into the living space through the ducts, and returned to the air-conditioning unit by means of the ducts. It is the circulation that can cause some of the difficulties commonly experienced with this part of the HVAC system.

Problems in the Ductwork

It is possible that dirt and dust can accumulate in the ductwork and these create obstacles to the airflow. They can require the system to generate more energy to get the air circulating, and that becomes a cost to the homeowner. Perhaps more serious would be leaks in the ductwork that allows cool air to escape. It can also cause warm air from the outside to enter into the circulation system. Either can generate additional cost for the homeowner.

The problems are not dangerous in and of themselves but they do create a situation where the air-conditioning is not performing as well as it can. This can be a problem in the summer when the air-conditioning is in continual use. Problems with the ductwork will generate greater utility bills and less efficiency. A certified HVAC technician is best qualified to take care of cleaning the ductwork. This person has the proper tools and skill set necessary to do a good job. An annual inspection of the ductwork can also identify problems that can be fixed before they are serious, saving a homeowner a significant amount of money in the long run.

Air Conditioning and the Environment

A primary concern for any maintenance inspection of an air-conditioning unit is whether or not there is a refrigerant leak. People may wonder why this is so important and it has a lot to do with a safe environment. Refrigerant has properties that may be detrimental.

Trouble With The Ozone

Much the environmental danger is concerned with the ozone. A measure of the threat to the ozone layer is the Ozone Depletion Potential or ODP. The less value registered by the ODP, less of a threat refrigerant is to the environment. Another measure is the Global Warming Potential, or GWP. The lower value registered by the GWP the safer for the environment is the refrigerant.

There is a chlorofluorocarbon compound known as R11. This has both a high ODP and high GWP. Refrigerants are measured against R11, with R11 having an ODP of one. This is a critical for determining whether the refrigerant is safe or not.

Various Refrigerants

There are quite a few refrigerants used and they have different ODP and GWP ratings. Refrigerants such as R134A, R407C, R410A and R417A are safe refrigerants to use and some alternative refrigerants that can be in an air conditioner include R290. All of these do not pose a threat to the ozone layer, but a refrigerant leak still is something that does require attention as soon as possible. The possibility the one of the older air-conditioning units may have a refrigerant with a high ODP is reason enough to attend to the problem immediately.

Refrigerant leak maintenance is not really a good do-it-yourself project. It is far better to have people who are experienced and trained in dealing with these compounds, because an HVAC technician would have the proper equipment to deal with the situation successfully. Preserving the environment has become increasingly more important part of HVAC technology and practice. The idea is to provide as much air conditioning or heating service to make a residence comfortable while the same time leaving as little an impression on the ecology as is practicable.

Optimizing the HVAC

 

The HVAC system in a house consumes a considerable amount of energy and is the primary expense in any utility bill. A homeowner can make better use of energy and keep utility costs under control by doing what is necessary to optimize the HVAC system. Before a person cringes at potential costs, he or she should look at the ways of optimizing the HVAC that really aren’t that expensive.

 

Outside the System

 

Not a very tactic used to improve the air conditioning service or heating service in the house requires major overhauls to the HVAC system. Some efficiencies can actually be done outside of the equipment. Ceiling fans have a reputation for reducing cooling costs dramatically. When this is combined with thermostats thing to be program, the energy use and costs drop like a stone. Drafts are a problem that occur in the wintertime. Cold air comes into the house and that causes more energy to be expended to increase heat. Double pane windows can help keep the cold air out and insulation placed around window frames and doorframes also keep the whistling winds from invading the living space. Space heaters and under floor heating mats will allow for necessary heat without taxing the HVAC system. The best thing about all the recommendations is that they really are not that expensive. In fact, some of them are strategies recommended by green energy advocates who want to reduce carbon footprints.

 

Lowering the Cost

 

The cost-effectiveness of these ideas should be felt almost immediately. To gauge the full impact homeowner needs to check how much the energy use was the month prior to initiating the changes, and the months immediately following. There should be a noticeable decrease in kilowatt hours (kwH) or British thermal units (BTUs). All of these complement the HVAC system, allowing it to provide only what is needed in air cooling or heating.

How A Freon Leak Damages Your A/C System

 

How A Freon Leak Damages Your A/C System

      We all know a Freon leak is a problem, however do we fully understand how big of a problem it is and why?  Being informed is what will keep you, your family and business cool through the extreme heat of the summer and your budget balanced.

A Little Bit about Freon

     Freon or the refrigerant is a colorless, odorless, nonflammable, noncorrosive gas or liquid that runs through your Air Conditioning System pipes and compressor; it is the stuff that keeps you cool.  Without this gas or liquid you do not have an air conditioner, just a blower unit circulating air.

What clues do I have to know my Freon needs to be checked?

      There are many ways to know you may have a Freon leak, although you will not smell it, probably will not see it and it is not causing any danger by being in the air. The first clue is when your air is not blowing as cold as you are accustomed to or worse yet, if it is not even cold air anymore and it is warm.  Another big clue is if your air conditioning unit, compressor or coils freeze.  If you notice even the slightest change in the temperature of your air or any amount of freezing contact a technician immediately.

Damage Caused by A Freon Leak

      Beyond the obvious that you and your space is not being cooled off when there is a Freon leak and the Freon level is low, the leak can be so subtle that it is not obvious at first but the long term damage has already started.  Any loss of pressure from Freon and the compressor is instantly under additional strain, reducing its life expectancy and causing unnecessary wear and tear on the entire air conditioning system.  Starting at the very first pound of pressure lost; even though the air still feels cool it is a sufficient reduction of temperature to cause your Air Conditioning System to need to run longer to maintain the same temperature.  As Freon loss increases, the run time of your system also increases just to maintain the same room temperature.  This in turn raises the cost of cooling your space incrementally in direct correlation to the loss of pressure.  As your Air Conditioning System runs longer periods of time without a break, everything is being worked twice as hard and the entire system is wearing out at more than twice the rate it normally would if it had sufficient Freon and refrigerant.

Get Your Freon Level Checked routinely

      The best cure is prevention, have a routine service of your Air Conditioning System to include Pressure testing and leak testing for Freon.  Get it fixed if there is a leak and always call immediately if you suspect a leak.  The cost of an inspection is far less than the cost of a compressor, a whole unit and even one month’s bill of inefficient cooling of your home or office.

 

         

Heating Units turn on as Scottsdale Arizona sees snow

Scottsdale AZ Heating

 

 

Scottsdale Arizona today heating units are turning on with temperatures in the 3o’s and 40′s. Here at Air Care Cooling & Heating we continue to work late into the night servicing customers in Phoenix, Mesa Gilbert, Chandler, and Scottsdale. It seems the east valley was hit harder according to the majority of service calls coming in.

 

Indian bend and the  free way loop 101 in Scottsdale is where I was when the snow started to fall. The freeway almost came to a complete stop since most motorist in Arizona are not used to the snow. At that point I new we would be swamped with service calls for Heating repair. Snow, hale and rain we are always on the job working to serve our customers. This will probably be the last major blast of cold weather. Soon the air conditioner will be on and the summer heat will be here before we know it.

 

We recommend getting a preseason maintenance inspection we currently have special off season prices going on right now. Also now is really good time to look into replacing your old inefficient heating and cooling system, with a new energy saving, high seer unit. Shoot us a email or give us a call to schedule your no cost in home estimate.