Why Are Some Rooms in My House Hotter (or Colder) Than Others?

Closeup of hand pressing button on digital thermostat

Have you noticed that some of the rooms in your home are always hotter or colder than others no matter what you set your thermostat to?

First, check for these common problems:

  • Dirty air filter—A dirty filter restricts airflow, not letting your home get enough cool air.
  • Closed vents—Closed vents in rooms can cause them to be hotter than other rooms.
  • Open windows—Your conditioned air can flow out of open windows, leaving uneven temperatures in your home.
  • Air duct issues—If you have any kinked or crushed supply ducts, certain rooms won’t get enough air. Also, leaky ducts cause a host of problems, including uneven temperatures. Here’s how to tell if your ducts are leaking.

If it’s not one of the problems above, the next likely cause is an unbalanced air conditioning and heating system. You’ll need an AC company to balance it.

What is air balancing?
Air balancing is the process of adjusting the amount of cooled and heated air each room in your home gets.

In a perfectly balanced system, every room in the home would reach the same temperature at exactly the same time. A home with very different temperatures in different rooms is said to have an unbalanced system.

Causes of an unbalanced system (and how to fix them)

Many different things can cause your air conditioning and heating system to be unbalanced.

When an air conditioning system is installed, larger ducts and more supply vents are used to get larger volumes of air into the rooms that need it.

Proper duct installation gets your system pretty close to balanced. Dampers are then used to fine tune the airflow and provide even temperatures throughout your house.
Dampers are valves that let you accurately adjust the amount of air going to each room or part of the house. They are installed on the main ducts near the inside unit of the air conditioner (usually in the attic or a closet).

TO READ MORE GO TO: https://www.cooltoday.com/blog/why-are-some-rooms-in-my-house-hotter-or-colder-than-others

Fun Facts that Will Surprise You About Air Conditioning

Beautiful senior lady happy loving grandmother making healthy salad for lunch with her granddaughter cute curly little girl in a white sunny kitchen with window cutting pepper and tomato

We are lucky to be able to get through the dog days of summer without much discomfort. It’s wonderful to be able to sit through a long business lunch in a suit without breaking a sweat—and to come in from an afternoon of yard work and feel the refreshing blast of air greet us at the door. Or to snuggle in our favorite pajamas and not miss a wink because we didn’t have to wake up feeling like we were baking.

Here are some surprisingly cool facts about the innovation that keeps us comfortable during these hot summer days and nights.

  • When AC systems were first introduced, the output settings were measured in “Ice Power” – in other words, how many blocks of ice it would take to produce the same amount of cooling power. Now we call them AC units (1).
  • The motivation for the first air conditioner wasn’t comfort. Willis Carrier invented a modern air conditioner in 1902 for a publishing company in New York that was experiencing problems with the ink control and paper expansion and contraction due to varying humidity levels (2).
  • Approximately 88 percent of new single-family homes constructed in America in 2011 included air conditioning. Compare that figure to how only 55 percent of Canadian households had air conditioning in 2013. Sounds like it really is naturally colder in Canada (3).
  • The first fully air-conditioned home was built in a mansion in Minneapolis in 1913 by Charles Gates. Sadly, he died before he could ever experience it (4).
  • Air conditioning systems helped coin the term “Summer Blockbuster.” One of the first businesses to utilize air conditioning technology back in the early part of the twentieth century were movie theaters. In the 1930’s, patrons flocked to theaters to enjoy the films – but also to enjoy the cool air during summer months. Marketers took advantage of this trend and saved their big hits for summertime releases. Thus, the term “Summer Blockbuster” became a part of our vocabulary (1).
  • Herbert Hoover was the first President to enjoy the air conditioning. He spent $30,000 to install the system in the oval office, just after the start of the Great Depression (4).

TO READ MORE GO TO: https://greatercomfort.com/blog/air-conditioning-service/ac-facts/

Air Conditioner Buying Guide

Senior couple playing a board game
Note the Noise
Models that scored excellent or very good in our noise tests are so quiet that the only sound you might hear is the fan running. Air conditioners that scored fair for noise could disturb light sleepers when the setting is on low, and are distracting to all when set on high.

Factor In the Window Location
Window air conditioners generally do a better job blowing air in one direction. That can be a problem if your window isn’t centered on the wall. To uniformly cool a room, you’ll need to direct air to its center, so check whether your A/C needs to blow air to the right or to the left. Some have fan arms that swivel.

Install It Correctly
To get the most from your window air conditioner it must be properly installed. Most units are intended for double-hung windows. If you have casement windows, you may want to consider a through-the-wall air conditioner. Make sure your window unit is level so that it drains correctly. And move any heat-generating devices such as a TV or lamp away from the unit.

TO READ MORE GO TO: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/air-conditioners/buying-guide

3 Questions You Should Ask During an HVAC System Estimate

 

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It’s sad but true: at some point you’ll need to replace your home’s central air conditioner, heat pump and/or furnace. These systems present a substantial cost for homeowners, and collecting estimates on the cost of a new system can feel like bracing yourself for bad news.

It’s important for you to be involved in the heating and cooling estimate in order to get the most out of your new system and to truly understand the costs. Be sure to ask these three questions to a certified AC contractor during your HVAC estimate:

What types of warranties come with this system?

It’s important for you to know how long a system will be under a manufacturer’s warranty. You should also find out if the contractor’s work is under warranty and, if so, for how long. When asking about warranties, be sure to ask about the fine details of service; many warranties require routine service or the warranty will be void.

What is the estimated payback period for energy efficient models?

Today, manufacturers are offering air conditioners, heat pumps and furnaces that are extremely energy efficient, though the most efficient models usually come with a much higher price tag. If you’re considering one of these models, ask your HVAC contractor how long it will take for the energy savings to pay for the added cost of the unit. In other words, at what point will you actually see a cost savings?

TO READ MORE GO TO: https://www.richmondsair.com/blog/indoor-comfort/hvac-estimate-faqs.html

Choosing the Right Refrigerant

Adult Daughter Visiting Senior Mother Sitting On Sofa At Home

Types of Refrigerant

Freon (R-22) refrigerant was used in most air conditioning models until it was discovered to be destructive to the Ozone layer. The EPA recently ordered that it be phased out.

Luckily, there are a few other refrigerant options to choose from. They include:

R-410A – Also known as Puron, R-410A has been approved for new air conditioning systems and doesn’t contribute to the destruction of the Ozone layer. It does, however, operate at a higher pressure than Freon, so your system will need to have components in place to handle this increase.

R-407C – This refrigerant is also environmentally friendly, and it is closest to Freon as far as operating goes. It does, however, carry a lower overall efficiency due to its lower pressures. R-407C features a high-glide, meaning that there is a high difference between evaporating and condensing temperatures.

R-134a – This refrigerant is widely used throughout the world and does not contribute to ozone depletion. It is also a no-glide refrigerant and was the first environmentally friendly refrigerant to be widely commercialized.

Now that you know the different types of refrigerant, which should you choose?

Well, it all depends on your system. Overall, most technicians recommend using R-410A because of its high efficiency and performance while still remaining environmentally friendly. However, it is mostly designed for newer air conditioners and parts—an older model will not likely be able to handle the higher pressure.

If you have an older system and aren’t on the market for a new one, it may be better to use R-407C or another option that more closely resembles the operating of R-22 despite the high-glide and lower efficiency overall. It’s important to note that choosing refrigerant that does not match your system’s capabilities can damage parts or cause the refrigerant to leak.

TO READ MORE GO TO: https://www.richmondsair.com/blog/indoor-comfort/right-refrigerant.html

Choosing the Best HVAC System For Your Home

house

Choosing an HVAC system is not an easy task, but factors like climate and home layout can help you decide which is best for your home. Let’s take a look at the four major types of HVAC systems and the advantages of each one.

1. Standard Split Systems

Standard split systems can be configured in several ways to give you more options: furnace and A/C, heat pump split systems and hybrid (or dual fuel) heat systems. Standard split systems continue to be the most affordable and most popular type of HVAC system. If one component needs to be replaced, a new one can be easily installed without any major changes to the existing ductwork or other components.

2. Ductless Split Systems

If your home doesn’t have any ductwork or you’re building on an additional room, a ductless split system (or mini-split system) may be the way to go. This type of system has an air conditioner or a heat pump outside and a fan to distribute the air on the inside. These systems are very efficient and have the option of zone climate control, but they aren’t made for cold climates because a ductless split system cannot host a furnace.

TO READ MORE GO TO: https://www.richmondsair.com/blog/indoor-comfort/choosing-home-hvac-system.html

4 Critical Parts of an Air Conditioning Unit

Two workers on the roof of a building working on the air conditioning unit.

Having a basic understanding of what parts make up your air conditioner and how those parts work together can help you better identify a problem or determine if your AC is running as efficiently as it should.

There are obviously more than four parts that make up your air conditioner, but so as not to overwhelm you, these are the four critical ones you should know about: the evaporator, condenser, compressor, and expansion valve.

Evaporator:
The evaporator is located in the cold side of the air conditioner. Its main function is to receive liquid refrigerant and turn it into gas, which then cools and dehumidifies the air. The gas absorbs all of the heat from the air and takes it to the condenser.

Condenser:
The condenser is the counterpart to the evaporator and is located in the hot side of the air conditioner. It functions to bring that hot, condensed refrigerant gas back outside to vent the heat and turn the refrigerant back into a liquid form.

Compressor:
The compressor is a big electric pump that works with the condenser to turn the refrigerant back to liquid. It does this by pressurizing the refrigerant gas. The compressor is also located in the hot side of the air conditioner with the condenser.

Expansion Valve:
The expansion valve works with the evaporator, but is usually located in-between the evaporator and condenser. Its job is to regulate how much liquid refrigerant is moving into the evaporator, where it then changes into gas.

Knowing these four main parts of your air conditioner and how they function can often help you figure out where the source of the problem might be if your A/C is not working properly. Some initial investigation gives you the ability to decide if the issue is something that needs immediate attention by a professional A/C repairman or not.

TO READ MORE GO TO: https://www.richmondsair.com/hvac-guide/equipment-101/parts-of-ac-unit/

Today’s AC Systems are More Efficient and Cost More Upfront

Residential Central Air Conditioning Units On Cement Slab
Today’s central air conditioning systems are much more efficient than their predecessors. The industry uses a rating called SEER for central systems, which is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Essentially, a higher SEER rating means the air conditioner uses energy more efficiently. When other factors such as thermostat settings are kept equal, a higher SEER results in lower monthly utility bills for the owner or occupant. A central air conditioning unit rated at 13 SEER uses almost a third less electricity than a 10 SEER system.

Some outside A/C units are rated at a range, such as 14/15 SEER, depending on what type of indoor equipment they are paired with. For example, if paired with a manufacturer recommended evaporator coil and a variable speed furnace or variable speed air handler, an outside unit could be rated as a 15 SEER system. Otherwise, the rating would be 14 SEER.

As you might imagine, higher efficiency A/C equipment costs more to build. Why? For one reason, more efficient condensers and evaporators contain more metal in their extra coils. Additionally, to gain higher efficiency, the systems may have more complex technology such as motor speeds and electronics.

TO READ MORE GO TO: http://www.airconditioning-and-heating.com/how-acs-work/