Is your home being cooled properly?
Each year we take thousands of calls from customers who need help with air conditioner repairs or installation. We understand the importance of feeling comfortable in your home’s climate. Air conditioning is a process that controls the filtration, air movement, temperature and humidity of a given environment. Air conditioning is always associated with the cooling and the dehumidification process of air and is therefore identified with refrigeration equipment. A residential central air conditioning system keeps your entire home cool in the warmer months, while it helps lower indoor humidity levels. Air conditioners can be centralized with ductwork to carry the cooled air to various rooms or individual units that cool specific areas.
How Does Air Conditioning Work?
Most people think that air conditioners lower the temperature in their homes by pumping cool air in. The actual process removes warm air from your house and cycles it back in as cooler air. This cycle continues until your thermostat reaches the desired pre-set temperature.
System elements include a compressor, a fan, condenser coil, evaporator coil and a refrigerant. The unit extracts heat from indoor air and transfers it outside, leaving the cooled indoor air to be re-circulated.
An air conditioner is basically a refrigerator without the insulated box. It uses the evaporation of a refrigerant to provide cooling. The mechanics of the refrigerant evaporation cycle are the same in a refrigerator as in an air conditioner. A compressor compresses cool refrigerant, causing it to become hot, high-pressure gas. This hot gas runs through a set of coils so it can dissipate its heat and it condenses into a liquid. The liquid then runs through an expansion valve and in the process it evaporates to become cold, low-pressure gas. This cold gas runs through a set of coils that allow the gas to absorb heat and cool down the air inside the home.
Three elements which make up a split central air conditioning system, are:
Contact Emerald Tower Heating & Air Conditioning with questions about air conditioning repairs and maintenance.
What's up with the cold draft in my home?
- An outdoor condensing unit
- A matching indoor air handler
- Ductwork to transfer the cooled air throughout the home
When it comes to repairing and providing maintenance for furnaces, you can rest assured that your investment will be protected when you use Emerald Tower Heating & Air Conditioning
A home furnace is a major appliance that is permanently installed to provide heat to an interior space through intermediary fluid movement, which may be air, steam, or hot water. The most common fuel source for modern combustion furnaces in the United States is natural gas; other common fuel sources include propane (LP), fuel oil, coal or wood. In some cases electric resistance heating is used as the source of heat, especially where the cost of electricity is low. Combustion furnaces always need to be vented to the outside. Traditionally, this is through a flue, which expels heat along with the exhaust.
Central Warm-Air Furnace:
A central warm-air furnace is a type of space-heating equipment in which a central combustor or resistance unit--generally using gas, fuel oil, or electricity--provides warm air that circulates through ducts leading to the various rooms.
- A forced-air furnace is one in which a fan is used to force the air through the ducts.
- In a gravity furnace, air is circulated by gravity, relying on the natural flow of warm air up and cold air down; the warm air rises through ducts and the cold air falls through ducts that return it to the furnace to be reheated, thus completing the circulation cycle.
The furnace typically is divided into three primary components:
My home system doesn't seem to work quite right.
- The burner (includes the heat exchanger, draft inducer and venting) - The flame originates at the burners and is drawn into the heat exchanger by the negative pressure produced by the draft inducer. The hot gasses produced by the combustion of the flame pass through the chambers of the heat exchanger and heat the metal walls of the heat exchanger. The gasses cool as they transfer the heat to the heat exchanger and are at about 120 degrees as they exit on a high efficiency furnace. The cooled gasses then enter the draft inducer blower and are pushed into the venting pipes. The exhaust gasses then are directed out of the house through the vent pipes.
- The blower and air movement - The blower creates a negative pressure on the intake side which draws air into the ductwork return air system and blows the air out through the heat exchanger and then into supply air ductwork to distribute throughout the home.
- Controls and Safety Devices - The controls include a gas valve, ignition control, ignitor, flame sensor, transformer, limit control, blower control board and flame roll out switch. A limit control is a safety device that will open the electrical circuit to the ignition control and stop the gas flow if the furnace over heats. The flame roll out switch does the same thing if the flame was rolling out of the heat exchanger instead of being completely induced into it by the draft inducer.
For heat pump installation and heat pump repairs, you can be sure that Emerald Tower Heating & Air Conditioning will exceed your expectations. A heat pump is a device that moves heat from one location to another location using a mechanical means. There are two common types of heat pumps: air-source heat pumps and ground-source (geothermal) heat pumps, with variations on both. Both can keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. An air-source heat pump pulls its heat indoors from the outdoor air in the winter and from the indoor air in the summer. A geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the indoor air when it's hot outside, but when it's cold outside, it draws heat into a home from the ground.
A heat pump's refrigeration system consists of a compressor and two coils made of copper tubing, which are surrounded by aluminum fins to aid heat transfer. The coils look much like the radiator in your car. Like in a refrigerator or air-conditioner, refrigerant flows continuously through pipes, back and forth from the outdoor coils. In the heating mode, liquid refrigerant extracts heat from the outside coils and air and moves it inside as it evaporates into a gas. The indoor coils transfer heat from the refrigerant as it condenses back into a liquid. A reversing valve, near the compressor, can change the direction of the refrigerant flow for cooling, as well as, for defrosting the outdoor coils in winter.
Air-Source Heat Pumps
An air-source heat pump can provide efficient heating and cooling for your home, especially if you live in a warm climate. When properly installed, an air-source heat pump can deliver one-and-a-half to three times more heat energy to a home compared to the electrical energy it consumes. This is possible because a heat pump moves heat rather than converting it from a fuel, by exploiting the physical properties of the refrigerant.
Ground-Source Heat Pumps
A ground-source heat pump system is a central heating and/or air conditioning system that actively pumps heat to or from the shallow ground. It uses the earth as either a source of heat in the winter or as a coolant in the summer. This design takes advantage of moderate temperatures in the shallow ground to boost efficiency and reduce operational costs.
But unlike an air-source heat pump a ground-source heat pump exchanges heat with the ground. This is usually more energy-efficient because underground temperatures are relatively stable through the year. Like a cave, the shallow ground temperature is warmer than the air above during the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. A ground-source heat pump extracts that ground heat in the winter (heating) and exhausts heat back into the ground in the summer (cooling).
Absorption Heat Pumps
Absorption heat pumps are essentially air-source heat pumps driven not by electricity, but by a heat source such as natural gas, propane, solar-heated water, or geothermal-heated water. Because natural gas is the most common heat source for absorption heat pumps, they are also referred to as gas-fired heat pumps. There are also absorption coolers available that work on the same principal, but are not reversible and cannot serve as a heat source. These are also called gas-fired coolers.
A refrigerant is a compound used in a heat cycle that undergoes a phase change from a gas to a liquid and back, thus giving off heat or absorbing it. The two main uses of refrigerants are refrigerators/freezers and air conditioners. Since it was discovered in the 1980s that the most widely used refrigerants were major causes of ozone depletion, a worldwide phase-out of ozone-depleting refrigerants has been undertaken. These are being replaced with "ozone-friendly" refrigerants.
Questions about heating or cooling your home or business? Call us. We’re the experts in HVAC service, repair and installation.
I've got a rattle coming from my heating and air system.
Air handlers are an important component to any HVAC system. Usually, an air handler is a large metal box containing a blower, heating and/or cooling elements, filter racks or chambers, sound attenuators and dampers. Air handlers usually connect to ductwork that distributes the conditioned air through the home and returns it to the air handler. Sometimes air handlers discharge and admit air directly to and from the space served, without necessary ductwork.
Air handlers typically are comprised of:
– usually located in a large squirrel cage blower driven by an electric motor to move the air. The blower may operate at a single speed, offer a variety of pre-set speeds, or be driven by a variable drive so as to allow a wide range of air flow rates.
Heating and/or cooling elements
- depending on the location and the application, air handlers may need to provide heating, or cooling, or both to change the supply air temperature.
– air filters are almost always present and needed in order to provide clean dust-free air to the home interior.
- is often necessary in colder climates where continuous heating will make the air drier, resulting in uncomfortable air quality and increased static electricity.
- to maintain indoor air quality, some air handlers commonly allow the use of outside air into and the exhausting of air from the home. A mixing chamber is used with dampers to control the ratio between the return, outside and exhaust air.
- are necessary to regulate every aspect of an air handler, such as: flow rate of air, supply air temperature, mixed air temperature, humidity, air quality. Common control components include temperature sensors, humidity sensors, sail switches, actuators, motors and controllers.
- since blowers in an air handler can create substantial vibration, are normally inserted into the duct immediately before and after the air handler and often also between the fan compartment and the rest of the air handler.
An air handler is usually located in the garage, a closet, or in the attic unless it is part of a package unit, then the air handler is incorporated in the system. The air handler can be an up flow air handler, down flow air handler, or horizontal flow air handling unit.
Call our experienced technicians at Emerald Tower Heating & Air Conditioning and we’ll go over your options with you.
I don't have a central unit for my heating.
Most heating systems that employ “radiant” heat are propelled by a boiler—they are critical to the proper and efficient operation of many home heating systems. We’re the experts to call when you need boiler repairs.
What is a Boiler?
A boiler is a natural gas, oil, propane or solid-fuel-burning appliance that produces hot water or steam which is circulated through pipes to heat-radiating devices in a room. Most homes in the United States are heated with either furnaces or boilers. The process that uses boilers to heat the home is called hydronics.
Boilers heat water, providing either hot water or steam for heating. Steam is distributed via pipes to steam radiators and hot water can be distributed via baseboard radiators or radiant floor systems, or can heat air via a coil. Steam boilers operate at a higher temperature than hot water boilers and are inherently less efficient, but high-efficiency versions of all types of furnaces and boilers are currently available.
Hydronic systems offer a host of advantages not found in other types of home comfort systems. Of all natural materials for conducting heat, water is best. Temperature changes of water can be accurately controlled and measured, so there is less "over-shooting" of thermostat settings and less wasted heat. And today's compact boilers, with improved heat-transfer technology, high- efficiency burners and electronic controls are 30 to 40 percent more efficient than boilers installed ten years ago.
If your boiler is old, worn out, inefficient, or significantly oversized, the simplest solution is to replace it with a modern high-efficiency model. Old coal burners that were switched over to oil or gas are prime candidates for replacement. Newer systems may be more efficient but are still likely to be oversized and can often be modified to lower their operating capacity.
A central boiler's efficiency is measured by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The Federal Trade Commission requires new boilers to display their AFUE so consumers can compare heating efficiencies of various models. AFUE is a measure of how efficient the appliance is in the energy in its fuel over the course of a typical year.
At Emerald Tower Heating & Air Conditioning we can help you with any boiler repair service.
Indoor Air Quality/Ductwork
Is my home making me sick?
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a term referring to the air quality within your home, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of your family. IAQ is one of the top five health concerns of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and their findings have been supported by the American Lung Association, Harvard University studies and many other organizations concerned about our health and indoor air environment.
Since the early 70’s, homes have been built tighter to conserve energy by keeping cold air out in the winter and hot air out in the summer. While this does conserve energy, it also contributes to ‘Tight Home Syndrome’. Tight Home Syndrome locks in dirty, sick and stale air and contributes to indoor air pollution. This indoor air pollution has been categorized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) into three danger levels; Particles, Germs and Gases and most often can contain microbial contaminants, such as mold and bacteria, gases (including carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds), dust, pollen and much more that can induce adverse health conditions. According to the EPA, your indoor air is typically 2 – 5 times and can be up to 100 times more polluted than outside air. Much of this pollution comes from toxic off gassing from carpets, building material, paint, stain, cleaning chemicals, disinfectants, bug sprays and more. Although we continue to pollute outside air it is cleansed by Mother Nature with the weather, ionization and UV energy from the sun. These natural cleansing actions are not present indoors and our immune system cannot keep up with this over abundance of indoor air pollution. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90% of their time indoors breathing ultra fine particles, germs and gases that pass through our lungs and enter the bloodstream. These are the main causes of asthma, allergies and other ailments so, paying special attention to cleaning your indoor air is very important.
Emerald Tower Heating & Air Conditioning
Indoor Air Quality experts can convert your heating and cooling system into a whole-house Air Treatment Center. To control these pollutants that are injurious to your health, advanced air cleaning systems are designed to remove the smallest particles from the air; while the UV lights will control both the germs and gasses in your home. As an example, particles that are 5 microns or smaller will pass through your lungs as you breathe, while 98% of all air particles are less than 1 micron. And, the smaller the particle, the greater the health hazard. Store bought filters cannot remove these smallest of allergens and have no capability of having any effect on germs and gasses.
The EPA recommends that you have your air ducts, heating and cooling systems inspected first by a professional heating and cooling contractor. If your Emerald Tower Heating & Air Conditioning
technician discovers that your air ducts have substantial visible mold, dust, dirt and other contaminants or a musty odor, they may recommend duct cleaning. This is especially important if someone in your household suffers from asthma, allergies, or other symptoms that may be related to indoor air pollution. Although duct cleaning alone has never been shown to actually prevent health problems, it is an important step in a whole-house air cleaning strategy. The Emerald Tower Heating & Air Conditioning
technician can perform ductwork installation to meet your system requirements.
Much of the dirt and dust that accumulates in the ducts adheres to the duct surfaces and to the furnace and air conditioning components. This does not mean that it necessarily becomes airborne and enters our breathing space. However, this accumulation is a perfect breeding ground for mold, bacteria and other fungi that are definite sources of indoor air pollution. It also reduces the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
At Emerald Tower Heating & Air Conditioning , we can share with you your whole house Air Treatment Center options to clean, disinfect and deodorize the air in your home 24 hours a day, naturally and without chemicals; then you can decide which best fits your concerns and needs.