Winter is right around the corner and with it, you can expect a spike in usage for your furnace and heating systems. It’s essential to keep everything running at top performance to avoid the inconvenience of a breakdown and having to need HVAC repair services.
Pets are a huge responsibility with so many rewards. In addition to the companionship, they relieve stress and, for service animal owners, they help with daily tasks. They also tend to have an effect on your HVAC systems, if they stay indoors.
Understanding the factors that can affect the life span of your HVAC system can help you get the most out of it. As a cooling and heating system installation expert, Schmitt recommends that homeowners research and study their HVAC systems to make smart decisions regarding the care and maintenance of their equipment. To help you with this, we will discuss the things that can affect your HVAC system’s service life. Read more
As an experienced HVAC repair company, we recommend keeping an eye on your air conditioning system even if winter means you won’t be using it for months until next summer. This is because neglecting your AC unit can lead to decreased performance and heightens the risk of issues cropping up. Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep your air conditioning system in good shape, even in the winter. Read on to find out how you can protect your AC in the winter. Read more
Knowing the basics of how HVAC systems work can give homeowners a greater appreciation for their system, inform them as to maintenance tasks they should be performing, help them diagnose problems, and communicate with technicians.
Types of HVAC Systems
There are several types of heating and air conditioning systems in modern homes. In climates that only experience one temperature extreme, a single-stage system may provide either heat or cold to a home. These systems are inexpensive but inefficient and are not commonly used.
Conventional systems will combine a furnace and an air conditioning unit to provide both heating and cooling capabilities. Most of these setups will have single-speed fans, which are only capable of running at full speed or being turned off. Newer systems may have variable-speed fans that run at various speeds to provide greater energy efficiency.
Zoning heating and air conditioning systems allow homeowners to control the temperature of multiple “zones” within their home individually. These systems allow greater comfort within a home and increased energy efficiency, but are more expensive than traditional systems.
Heat pumps are becoming a popular choice for replacing conventional systems. Heat pumps only move heat from one area to another, allowing them to function while using far less energy than other systems. Different types of heat pumps use different sources for heat and work more efficiently down to cooler temperatures.
6 Things Homeowners Should Know About Their System
Homeowners should understand the basics of their own system. Some important details include:
- Location of ducts. Air ducts carry conditioned air throughout a home. These ducts are essential to the heating and air conditioning system. Leaking or blocked ducts can keep air from reaching part of the house.
- Type of refrigerant. Federal law required the phasing out of refrigerant R-22 last year. Any that remains for repairing systems will be far more expensive than coolant R-410A.
- Location of the indoor parts of the system. Furnaces are usually located indoors, as is part of the air conditioning system. Homeowners need to know the location of these and keep an eye on their drain pans to be aware of any damaging leaks.
- Location of outdoor sections. The outdoor section of air conditioners need to be kept clean and clear of debris, so homeowners should know where this is and how to clean it.
- Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). SEER ratings measure the energy efficiency of air conditioners. Higher ratings denote more efficient units.
- Air filter information. Air filters are the part of HVAC systems that need the most frequent maintenance. Homeowners can usually perform this maintenance if they know where the filter is located and the type of filter needed. Some filters can be cleaned, but many are simply replaced.
Homeowners who know what type of HVAC system their home uses and the basics listed above will find themselves better able to keep their systems running efficiently, and will be able to communicate more clearly with technicians.
Have any additional questions about your HVAC system? We love educating our customers about how their systems work. Contact us today.
Every industry undergoes changes from time to time. As new technologies are discovered and developed, it takes time for those new technologies to hit the mainstream and be accepted for everyday use as the new industry-standard. In the world of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), there are a number of technologies on the horizon that will begin to change the way that home owner’s heat and cool their homes.
Latest HVAC Advancements for 2016-2017
Here are some of the latest HVAC technologies that have already hit the market or will soon be showing up in homes across the country in no time:
Though this is by no means a brand new technology, smart thermostats continue to improve, offering even more features that are not only convenient for homeowners but help them save money. For those not familiar with this technology, smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature and other aspects of your indoor air quality remotely from the convenience of your smart phone.
This Wi-Fi enabled thermostat helps homeowners cut down on energy waste by allowing them to control their HVAC system from wherever they may be. For instance, if you leave the AC on full blast when you left the house, you can adjust it to a more moderate temperature to save energy while you are away.
Smart ventilation is another powerful technology that makes it easier for you to make your home environment more comfortable while also helping you reduce energy usage and cut cooling and heating costs. Smart ventilation uses sensors that allow you to monitor and control airflow in each room in your house.
You can save energy by reducing air flow to rooms that are often empty. You can also increase comfort levels by adjusting air flow to each room in line with the family member’s preference. For instance, if you like to feel the cool air directly on you, you might increase airflow to your room, while decreasing airflow to the room of a family member who easily gets cold. The best part is that all of this can be done from the convenience of your smartphone.
Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)
Variable refrigerant flow is also not a brand new technology. However, when connecting this technology to your home automation system, it has the potential to transform the way that home owners maintain a comfortable indoor environment year-round. Variable refrigerant flow gives you greater control over the temperature inside your home and allows you to adjust different rooms to different temperatures.
Everyone has different ideas of what temperature is optimal and which environment makes them most comfortable. This technology allows you to increase comfort for everyone by adjusting temperature to their liking. Combine this with the smart ventilation system, and you will be making your home more comfortable and saving energy in no time.
Some of these technologies are already being utilized in homes across the country, while others are not far behind. If you are interested in what HVAC upgrades might be available to you, contact us today.
Ductless HVAC systems are nothing new. Ductless heat pumps have been a ubiquitous feature on apartment windows for decades. What is new is using them for whole house heating and the technology involved with that. Using a ductless system for your home provides several benefits over a traditional forced-air system.
Homeowners have long been frustrated with the performance of forced-air HVAC systems. The uneven cooling, high operational costs, and air quality issues have caused much dissatisfaction. A ductless system can alleviate all these issues.
Even Heating & Cooling
A ductless system will work with an individual thermostat for each heat pump or a thermostat located within a ‘zone’ of your home. This allows you to individualize the temperature for each area, or only heat or cool that area as needed. New technology on some systems also lets you control the individual heat pumps and zones with ease via your smartphone.
The ability to finely control the heating and cooling of different zones, or rooms within your home can greatly reduce your energy consumption. A typical home will have an energy bill of which half is directly attributable to heating and cooling costs. If you can run individual parts of the system as needed, it negates the forced-air drawback of whole-house heating and cooling. If you couple that with the extremely efficient nature of heat pumps the savings can be drastic with the right setup.
Improved Air Quality
Indoor air pollution is a much larger issue than people tend to realize. A traditional forced-air system does very little to improve the air quality in the home. In fact in can aggravate the condition further by blowing dust, allergens, and pollutants around the home as soon as it switches on. A ductless system can greatly improve the air quality through multi-stage filtration and having multiple points of filtration. Each room or zone can have it’s own heat pump filtering the air as opposed to having one or two air returns in a home to cover the whole house.
A ductless system can be a great way to heat and cool a home but it’s not necessary for every home. A well-designed traditional forced-air system can function very well for a home depending on the needs and usage patterns. If you’re unsure of what system is best for you, give us at Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning a call today to discuss your options!
Humidity plays a role in the development and treatment of allergies. Though your home’s humidity level can range from 0 to more than 100 percent, the range for indoor environments tends to fall between 20 and 70 percent. Lower humidity improves indoor air quality, but higher humidity is better for the throat and nasal passages. It’s important to find a balance that is not too damp or too dry.
Lower Humidity Means Less Allergen Production
Dust mites and mold can’t thrive in lower humidity levels. Dust mites are nearly invisible creatures that live off of dead skin cells. When the enzymes in their waste become airborne, it can cause our allergies to run rampant. Dust mites thrive in higher temperatures 75 to 80°F and humidity in the 70 to 80 percent range. While it’s nearly impossible to eliminate house dust mites and their droppings, you can control their numbers by lowering the humidity in your home below 50 percent.
Higher Humidity Relieves Allergy Congestion, Irritation And Inflammation
Air that is too dry, meanwhile, can also cause issues for allergy sufferers. Dry air irritates nasal passageways, which can lead to sinus infections. It also can pose a problem for people with asthma and sensitive skin.
Breathing air that is higher in humidity levels can relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, like congestion, irritation and inflammation of the nasal passages. Moist nasal tissues can then do their job by expelling potential irritants and allergens, which will also reduce symptoms.
People with sensitive skin can also benefit from higher humidity levels. Eczema, atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis are aggravated by dry air. Using a humidifier can help alleviate some of the symptoms of this type of allergy.
Higher humidity levels in the home can also help during cold and flu season. A warm-mist humidifier or vaporizer will help ease congestion and coughing. This is especially important for children who are too young for over-the-counter cold medicines.
Humidifiers Help Homeowners Achieve Balance
It can be difficult to find the ideal humidity level in a home, but achieving the proper level is one of the best ways to alleviate the many allergy issues we all face. Many modern humidifiers feature a hygrometer, which measures the humidity in the air. Setting the humidifier between 40 and 48 percent humidity is a good practice because it balances dust mite control with the moisture needed to keep sinus and skin allergies at bay.
If you need help figuring out how to best achieve the perfect humidity level for your home or business with your home’s current HVAC system, be sure to give our professionals a call. Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning is dedicated to helping our customers live comfortably! Call and schedule an appointment today, at (415) 689-7849.