Next Generation Air & Heat, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘HVAC’

What Are the Benefits of Ductless Split Systems?

Monday, February 5th, 2018

ductless-blowerIf you’re in the market for a new heating and/or air conditioning system, either because you have a new property going up or you just need to replace an old, unreliable system that is already in your home, we recommend doing a bit of homework before choosing your new system. There are the old classics, of course, such as central ACs and furnaces. However, there are also some types of systems out there that you may not be that familiar with.

You don’t want to miss out on what could prove to be the perfect system for your home and user preferences. For many people, that is the ductless mini split. Ductless split systems are not new, really, but they were always more common internationally and in commercial properties than they were in residential homes throughout the US. As more people have caught on to the benefits offered by ductless split systems, however, their popularity has really surged. Here’s why you may want to use a ductless split system in Palm Bay, FL.

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Forced Air? Fresh Filter!

Monday, January 8th, 2018

man-with-filterCentral air conditioning is pretty much the standard for homes in our area. If you are trying to fight the heat and humidity of the Florida summer with window units, you really need to rethink your strategy. Whether you’re using a central AC to cool your home, a furnace to warm it on our occasionally chilly nights, or a heat pump to do both, you really need to keep your air filter in mind. Forced air heating and cooling is going to suffer greatly, in a number of ways, with a dirty filter in place.

Yes, you should be scheduling annual maintenance for your HVAC systems (bi-annual for heat pumps), and yes, your maintenance technician should be cleaning or replacing your air filter as needed. Once or even twice a year is simply not enough, though. These standard air filters typically need changing every 1-3 months. Failure to keep up with this vital maintenance task is going to result in some serious issues for your comfort, your budget, and your system itself. 

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HVAC Guide: High Efficiency Home Comfort Equipment

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Don’t let high energy costs disrupt your comfort. Do your research, work out a budget, and invest in equipment with the highest efficiency levels that you can afford. It’s true that the higher the efficiency of a heating or cooling system the higher the initial costs generally are, but you can offset that purchasing price by saving money on utility costs down the road. Here is some information to help you heat and cool your Melbourne home more efficiently.

  • Efficiency Ratings– Heaters, air conditioners and air filters all have different efficiency ratings. It is important that you understand what each of them mean so that you can know what sort of performance you can expect from your home comfort systems.
    • AFUE: Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency measures the efficiency of gas and oil-fired furnaces. It is a percentage that tells you how much of the fuel consumed actually goes towards heating your home and how much is wasted. Industry minimum AFUE requirement is 78%.
    • SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio measures the efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps when cooling your home. The higher the SEER number the more efficient the machine. Regulations require a minimum of 13.0 SEER.
    • HSPF: Heating Seasonal Performance Factor measures the efficiency of heat pumps when being used for heating. Again, the higher the number the more efficient the heat pump. Today’s heat pumps are required to have at least 6.8 HSPF.
  • Energy Management Systems – Modern technology lets you take more control than ever over how you use energy in your home. With a home energy management system you can control temperature settings and power use in your home remotely from a smartphone or laptop. Shut off small appliances, adjust temperatures and more no matter where you are. You can ensure that you’re always coming home to a comfortable environment while using less energy with greater control.
  • When to Purchase – It can be tempting to stick with your existing home comfort systems rather than investing in new, higher efficiency models. However, frequent maintenance and repair costs plus higher operational costs can actually wind up costing you more. Take into consideration the quality of your system, its age and, of course, your budget. High efficiency home comfort equipment may have a higher price tag, but the energy savings translate into financial savings. When you’re ready to replace your home comfort systems make sure that you get the most efficiency for your money.

This information should help you understand the benefits and points to consider when contemplating a new home comfort system. Get the most efficient performance you can afford from your Melbourne heating and air conditioning systems. For more information, give Next Generation Air & Heat Inc a call!

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Your HVAC System and Electricity

Monday, May 7th, 2012

While not every HVAC system in your home requires electricity, many of them do. Your air conditioner, electric furnace or water heater and ventilation system all need access to the central power line. So what does that mean for your system and what problems should be you beware of?

How Your HVAC System Uses Electricity

How your HVAC system works depends largely on which components need electricity to operate. Here is a quick summary of how each system uses electricity:

  • Air Conditioning – Most air conditioners are electric and therefore use electricity based on the number of BTUs produced. For example, if your air conditioner produces 25,000 BTUs and has a SEER of 16, it can produce 16 BTUs for every watt of electricity consumed per hour. As a result, it consumes 1,562.5 watts per hour when the system is running at maximum capacity. If it runs at full capacity for 8 hours per day, 30 days a month in the summer, that’s 375 kilowatt hours – which is the measurement unit you’ll see on your electric bill.
  • Heating – Your heating system may not use electricity, as many homes today use gas or oil combustion furnaces or boilers to produce heat. However, if you have an electric furnace, that electric power is used to heat the filament in the furnace. Electricity also powers the blower fan motor which pushes air across the filament and into the air handler. An electric furnace sized to heat a 1500 square foot home can use up to 8,000 watts per hour to produce enough heat for your home. That converts to roughly 5,000 kilowatt hours per month. The current price of electricity will determine how much this actually costs, you but it can really add up quickly.
  • Ventilation – Your ventilation system is almost always going to use electricity to circulate and filter air. While mechanical filters rely on the movement of air to remove certain particles, ventilation systems have a variety of components including fans and possibly even condenser coils to conserve energy as air is exchanged between the inside and outside.

Electricity plays an important role in your HVAC system no matter how your system works. To ensure yours continues to operate as intended, have your power system checked on a regular basis when the rest of your Melbourne HVAC system is serviced. Call Next Generation Air and Heat today to schedule your annual maintenance visit!

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Basic HVAC Terminology: A Guide From Valkaria

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Ever try to look up basic information about your Valkaria home’s heating and air conditioning systems? There are dozens of terms that might as well be Greek for all you know – a mishmash of words and phrases talking about energy efficiency and air flow ratios. To make your next upgrade a little easier and give you a baseline with which to work, here are a few of the most common HVAC terms you’ll hear in the industry:

  • AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency – This is a simple measurement of how much fuel a furnace converts into actual heat in your home. So, if a furnace converts 92% of the fuel it consumes into heat, it has an AFUE rating of 92.
  • Watts – A single watt is a measurement of electricity. Commonly, your electricity use is assured in kilowatts or kilowatt hours (kWh).
  • BTU – British Thermal Unit – A BTU is a common measurement of how much energy is produced or consumed by an appliance. When referring to an air conditioner, one “ton” refers to 12,000 BTUs.
  • SEER/EER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio refers to how many BTUs can be produced with a single Watt of electricity per hour. So, an air conditioner with an SEER of 14 can produce 14 BTUs of cooling per watt consumed each hour.
  • HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor – Refers to the efficiency of the heating elements in your heat pump.
  • COP – Coefficient of Performance – A measurement of how effective your heat pump is at heating a space compared to standard electrical resistance heat. The lower the temperature gets outside, the lower the COP will be. Equipment is usually measured for COP at 47 and 17 degrees to give an idea of seasonal performance of a new heat pump.
  • Refrigerant – Refrigerant is any gas that is used to draw heat from the air in a particular environment through an air conditioner or heat pump. It has a much lower boiling point than water, allowing it to cool despite the temperature outside. Currently, most equipment uses R-22 refrigerant while the new standard will be R-410A (Puron), legally required in all cooling units by 2020.
  • CFM – Cubic Feet per Minute – Used to measure the volume of air passed through an air handler by an air conditioner or furnace.

There are a number of complicated details to keep track of when choosing a new air conditioner or furnace. To ensure you get the very best out of your system, read up on these details in advance – you’ll feel a heck of a lot smarter when you call.

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What is a Matched HVAC System? A Question From Eau Gallie

Monday, September 19th, 2011

It has been about 200 years since the arrival of interchangeable parts during the Industrial Revolution. Today in Eau Gallie, we laud being able to take a malfunctioning part from a car, computer or vacuum cleaner, replace it with a newly minted part from any number of manufacturers, then keep right on plugging along.

Although this is a blessing in most arenas, when it comes to an HVAC system, it is not necessarily a good practice. Heating and cooling systems work best when they are matched – but what does that mean? And why does it matter?

Why Matched Parts Matter in HVAC Systems

When referring to HVAC systems, a matched system is one in which various components are designed to work together. For example, an air conditioner and furnace made by the same manufacturer can be matched, as can a furnace and a heat pump.

Typically, the matching is done in such a way that the “outdoor” components, such as air conditioners and heat pumps are designed to work best with their “indoor” partners, like air handlers and furnaces. There are also matched systems in which every component is matched to every other.

Efficiency Boosts

While this may seem to make maintenance and repairs a pain, the practice provides a big boost to the efficiency of the system. Because the components were designed and manufactured by the same team to work in harmony, the system performs optimally. Although you can often replace one component of a matched system with one from another manufacturer and have it work fine, the system can lose efficiency, often to a significant and noticeable extent.

For these reasons, it is best to make use of matched systems in your home whenever possible. This means choosing a new matched system to install, replacing broken parts with ones that match the rest of the system and even replacing older systems with newer ones to properly match, when necessary.

It may seem like a hassle at first, but it saves money in the long run by adding increased efficiency over unmatched systems.

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