Next Generation Air & Heat, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Port St John’

Why the SEER Is Important When Choosing an Air Conditioner

Friday, June 24th, 2011

There are many things to take into account when you are trying to pick out a new air conditioning system. You want one that will be powerful enough to cool the required space but not so big that it turns your home into a walk in freezer. With so many models and types on the market, it can be difficult to figure out what details you need to pay attention to and what you can ignore.

The seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) that each air conditioner comes with is not something you should ever disregard, however. This number is a reflection of the overall energy efficiency of the unit and it can have a huge impact on the amount you pay to keep running your air conditioner every month. The higher the SEER of a product, the more energy efficient it is and the lower your monthly bills will be.

Of course, air conditioners with a higher SEER also generally come with a higher price tag, so you will have to weigh the amount of your potential savings against the difference in price of units with different SEERs.

To calculate this, you will need to know exactly how much more energy efficient one model is compared to the others. For instance, when you know that an air conditioner with a SEER of 11 is 7% more efficient than one with a SEER of 10, you are in a better position to evaluate the potential savings.

You will still need to translate this into dollars, of course, because the amount you save with a 7% boost in efficiency will depend largely on how much you typically pay already. If you are only paying around $320 a year with a SEER 10 air conditioner, upgrading to a SEER 11 will only save you about $30. However, if your annual cooling bills are closer to $1000, you will easily save close to $150 with this small upgrade.

SEER numbers go much higher than 10 and 11 too. In fact, the highest you will probably get is a 19.5 SEER, but that will more than cut your cooling bills in half if you are starting with a SEER 10. Still, the actual amount that you will save depends on how much you were paying to begin with, but if your cooling bills are already very high, it may be worth it to invest in an expensive but very high efficiency system.

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How to Stay Affordably Cool This Summer

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Putting in a high quality, energy efficient air conditioning system is a great step to take when you are trying to keep your house cool and comfortable all summer without paying a fortune in cooling costs. Many of the latest air conditioners are able to use very little energy to provide powerful cooling power to your house no matter how big it is.

But if you are really serious about keeping cool and keeping costs down, there are plenty of other things you can do to give your air conditioning system a hand. It might seem silly, but putting in a little bit of effort around the house can save you quite a bit in the long run.

For instance, since you are paying to keep the air in your house cool, it is a good idea to make sure that the air you are cooling stays in your house. Sealing off unused doors and windows with plastic is an excellent precaution to take to ensure that no cooled air leaks out through the cracks and door jambs. Also, you will want to check for any other openings that could create a draft and allow cool air to escape or warm air to get in.

However, just letting in air from outside in the summer is not the only way that the heat can get in. The sun is powerful in the summer and the more you can block of it, the cooler your house will be. So make sure that your blinds are closed to block out the sun, particularly in the afternoon. Morning sun is not nearly as powerful as the sun you get towards the middle and later part of the day.

All of these steps will help to take the pressure off of your air conditioning system and allow it to get its job done with a minimum of energy expended. And that will certainly save you money every month. You can save even more, though, by adjusting the temperature on your thermostat a bit as well.

Most air conditioning systems are set to a default temperature of 72°F. While this is probably quite comfortable for you, it is likely that you would be equally as comfortable at 75°F. In fact, you probably will not even notice the difference. But that small adjustment can actually save you quite a bit on your monthly cooling bills.

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What Are Your Heat Pump Options?

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Once you’ve decided that a heat pump really is the best option for your home, you’ll still have a lot of options to consider. There are actually quite a few types of heat pumps and they can vary considerably in terms of their energy efficiency and other available features.

For instance, you can choose to go with a heat pump with a one-speed, two-speed or multi-speed compressor. Single speed compressors are only capable of operating at full capacity. That means that they’ll certainly be able to keep your home warm, but they may be working harder than they need to at some points.

A two-speed or multi-speed compressor, on the other hand, can be adjusted to more appropriately fit the heating and cooling needs of the moment. There will certainly be times when you don’t need your heat pump to be going all out, and the ability to regulate this level of performance can benefit you in several ways.

It will allow you to maintain a more consistent indoor temperature to be sure, but it will also reduce the overall wear and tear on your heat pump over time. If your heat pump doesn’t have to run all out all of the time, it simply won’t wear out as fast, and that will save you both money and frustration in the long run. It’s also worth noting that heat pumps with two-speed or multi-speed compressors are more easily integrated into a zone control system if you have one in your home.

However, regardless of what type of compressor your heat pump has, you’ll also have to examine the various heat pump models available to determine what their actual energy efficiency ratings are. Each heat pump actually comes with two ratings, one for heating and one for cooling.

The heating season performance factor (HSPF) reflects the heat pump’s heating efficiency, while the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) is a measure of its cooling efficiency. The higher both of these numbers are, the higher the efficiency of the unit. But you don’t necessarily need both numbers to be as high as possible to get the best heat pump for your home.

If you’re going to be using the heat pump more for cooling than for heating because of the climate where you live, you’ll want to make sure the unit you get has as high a SEER as possible, but you won’t have to worry too much about the HSPF. But if you’re going to need more heating than cooling, you should pay more attention to the HSPF than the SEER.

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How Does Central AC Work?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

We pretty much just take the fact of central air conditioning for granted these days. It is present almost everywhere and it is hard to imagine getting through a long hot summer without it. But if you are like most people, you probably do not actually know how central air conditioning works. While you can certainly take advantage of it without understanding it, the basic concept is pretty simple.

Basically, central air conditioning systems are composed of an outdoor unit that typically houses the compressor and condenser and an indoor unit that manages the flow of air throughout your house or other building. This indoor unit is typically either an air handler or a furnace, and it directs the flow of air through a series of ducts that feed into the various rooms of the house.

The cool air originates in the outdoor unit and is blown into the house, gradually absorbing heat as it goes, and that air is then returned to the outdoor unit to be re-cooled. What actually happens in the outdoor unit involves the cycle of a type of refrigerant from a gas to a liquid and back. In the condenser area of the outdoor unit, the pressure on the refrigerant is lessened and it is able to absorb heat from the air returning from the house.

This gas, while warmer than the liquid refrigerant, is still quite cold and acts to cool the air being passed back into the house. As that refrigerant moves along to the compressor area, the gas is converted to a liquid and is forced to release the heat it had been holding. In that way, the air conditioner is able to remove heat from the inside of your house and release it outside.

Your air conditioning system is also generally hooked up to a thermostat, which is what controls when the unit switches on and off. You can set the thermostat at the temperature you would like to maintain inside your house and the thermostat will signal the air conditioner to switch on when the indoor temperature rises above that level. And once the indoor temperature is again below the preset level on the thermostat, the air conditioner will switch off again.

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