How Do Air Conditioners Work?

How Do Air Conditioners Work?

February 15, 2013

You might not need to know how air conditioners work to enjoy their benefits on a hot afternoon in Kilgore TX. However, understanding a little bit about the operation may motivate you to pay more careful attention to some basic maintenance tasks. There are some common issues that crop up during the summer months, and some of these problems could be alleviated through simple preventive steps.

Air Conditioners and Their Function

An AC unit is a heat exchanger. Refrigerant is used to extract heat from the air, causing the indoor air to cool. This is accomplished through a loop that carries the material from an indoor coil to an outdoor coil. The indoor coil allows the expansion of the material. The R-22 or R-410a cool off as they expand, subsequently pulling in heat from the surrounding air.

You’ve seen this in action when you pour a tall glass of iced tea. The cold contents act much like the expanded refrigerant. The condensation on your glass occurs as this heat exchange takes place. In the case of your air conditioner, a blower draws air over the coil and cycles it through the system of ducts in the home to deliver cold air to various rooms.

As the refrigerant circles through the loop, it moves to the outdoor condenser coil. As the refrigerant is compressed, it becomes hot. This heat is released into the outdoor environment. The cycle continues as the system operates.

Maintenance Can Improve How Air Conditioners Work

Based on the action of your system, it’s important to be sure that some basic components are evaluated and serviced periodically. It’s common knowledge that your air filter should be changed frequently. Start the summer with a new filter. Check monthly for possible replacement needs.

Choose a MERV rating of 12 or less to be sure that your filter isn’t too dense for your system. If you are concerned with air quality in your home, filters with MERV ratings from nine to 12 provide superior residential filtration.

Your blower is also integral in providing an appropriate air stream. It’s important to be sure that the blower motor is working optimally. It’s also important to have blower belts checked for wear.

Your refrigerant levels should be checked before summer use. Improper levels can affect the performance of your unit. While some of our customers wonder about recharging their own refrigerant, it’s important to realize that the materials are strictly regulated and generally only available to contractors. Additionally, R-22 and R-410a are not interchangeable. It’s important to work with an expert so that you don’t damage your system.

Seasonal HVAC maintenance is an affordable way to make sure that all the basic functions are checked. JD’s A/C LLC provides tune-up specials, making it affordable for our customers to have a thorough inspection of their air conditioning, thermostat and ductwork in the early spring. Scheduling in advance of hot summer temperatures ensures that your system is working properly.

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Understanding Load Calculation for HVAC

Understanding Load Calculation for HVAC

February 15, 2013

When installing a new HVAC system in Longview, TX, a load calculation is used to determine the amount of energy required to maintain the specific environment at a steady, comfortable indoor temperature. An accurate load calculation, based on Manual J standards and done by a computer, offers you the assurance that your new HVAC system will be sized correctly. Properly sized HVAC equipment works better, lasts longer and needs fewer repairs. At JD’s A/C LLC, we follow industry-established best practices to calculate heating and cooling loads, ensuring that your new HVAC system delivers optimal comfort at the best price.

Load Calculation Factors

Each home or business has its own heating and cooling requirements. A structure’s “load” is based on the rate of heat transfer per hour — how much heat must be added or removed to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Calculating a structure’s heating or cooling load involves more than just measuring its square footage. Factors influence the heating or cooling load of your home or business include:
  • The seasonal climate of the Longview region
  • The number of windows in the structure and their orientation to the sun
  • The design and layout of the building’s interior
  • The building’s construction and level of insulation
  • The number of people who use the home or business
  • The number and size of rooms used regularly

Proper HVAC Systems Sizing

Precise calculations help ensure that your new HVAC system is neither too big nor too small. Proper sizing doesn’t just affect installation costs. An undersized or oversized system negatively impacts performance too. A too-big system will cycle on and off frequently, resulting in uncomfortable temperature fluctuations. Because oversized systems tend to cycle off before the air has had time to circulate fully, the air can feel stuffy or clammy as well. An undersized system needs to run longer to meet your heating or cooling demands, causing undue wear and tear that reduces the system’s service life.

Reducing Heating and Cooling Loads

Homes and businesses with low heating and cooling demands can be fitted with smaller sized HVAC systems, saving owners money without compromising comfort. A number of relatively inexpensive improvements can reduce your heating and cooling expenses. The best way to indentify cost-effective solutions is with a home energy audit. Using equipment like infrared cameras and thermographic scans, auditors can pinpoint areas of your home or business that are wasting energy.

Serving the Nacodoches community for over 30 years, the experts at JD’s A/C LLC take the time to perform a precise and accurate load calculation for every HVAC system installed. We know that our continued success depends upon providing long-term satisfaction to our valued customers in Longview TX. You can count on our skilled technicians to establish the correct size for your specific application, ensuring that your new HVAC system meets and exceeds your expectations for years to come.

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Does Zoning Heating and Air Save Money?

Does Zoning Heating and Air Save Money?

February 8, 2013

Energy costs for your home can be frustrating, especially during the Longview TX summer. Home heating and cooling account for approximately half of your energy expenses, and there are many strategies for improving energy efficiency to cut these costs. Some tips are practical. Recharging refrigerant, changing air filters and being careful to shut doors and windows are important steps. If these don’t make enough of a difference, though, you may want to think about zoned heating and air.

What Are Zones?

The concept of establishing zones is pretty simple. Dividing your home into sections allows your heating and air conditioning to be directed according to need. If you have a larger home or multiple stories, then you realize that some spaces can be tough to moderate consistently. Your upper levels may stay pretty comfortable on a winter day, rendering upstairs heating unnecessary. The same warmth creates a need for extra cooling upstairs during the summer.

Heat exchange through the roof and windows can be responsible for temperature discrepancies in parts of the structure. Zoned heating and air allows you to concentrate temperature moderation on those areas that aren’t comfortable without adversely affecting areas with desirable temperatures.

Installation of Zones

Your zoning equipment will include dampers and controls that will be used to direct the airflow as areas are on or off. A common control panel is used to direct individual thermostats and damper controls. Additional air conditioning and heating units aren’t required, but it is important to work with a knowledgeable company like JD’s A/C LLC to be sure that your zoning network is designed in accordance with your system’s specifications. Poor installation of dampers can nullify any energy savings that you might have expected to achieve. This is definitely not a DIY project.

It’s also important to consult with a professional so that you don’t have too many or too few zones. HVAC contractors are trained to diagnose the needs of specific spaces and systems, and a professional will let you know if your home is suitable for zoned heating and air.

Alternative Zoning Options

Another approach to independent heating and cooling of rooms and spaces in your home is the use of ductless equipment. Zones are created by the installation of independent room units that work with a common heat pump, connected by refrigerant lines and electrical wiring. Homes that may not benefit from duct zoning might be better served through ductless equipment. Ducts can account for a 30 percent energy loss when your heating and cooling equipment are running. Ductless equipment provides an energy-efficient alternative. If you would like to meet with an expert to learn more about either of these zoning options, please contact us at JD’s A/C LLC.
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Choosing the Best Air Conditioning Filter

Choosing the Best Air Conditioning Filter

February 1, 2013

How do you decide on the right air conditioning filter each season? While some homeowners in Longview TX think first about costs, others consider the quality of the filter when they make a selection. However, many mistakenly assume that price indicates quality. It’s helpful to ignore pricing until you examine the ratings.

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value: MERV

The MERV scale was established in the late 1980s by HVAC professionals. It provides a standard that enables consumers to know whether an air conditioning filter is efficient. It’s possible to select a more expensive filter that has poor MERV ratings. It’s also possible to find cheap filters with high MERV ratings. Your considerations should include ratings as well as price.

The highest MERV ratings available are best for commercial, industrial and hospital environments. Your home HVAC system won’t be benefitted by a rating that exceeds 12. Those designs ranging from 13 to 20 on the MERV scale are too dense for residential equipment and can cause problems with system efficiency. Filters rated at 12 or less are appropriate.

MERV ratings at or below four indicate filters that are most appropriate for window air conditioning systems. Ratings from five to eight are best for residential systems. For superior filtration in your home, select a filter with a MERV rating above eight.

Measurements Matter

When you choose an air conditioning filter, it’s important to have the right measurements for height, width, and depth. Guessing isn’t wise as an oversized filter won’t fit the space. A filter that is too small will allow particles to move through the system around its edges. You can check your current filter for a label or measure to get the correct dimensions. If you don’t have a filter to check, then consult your owner’s materials or contact us at JD’s A/C LLC for help.

Choosing a Purification Unit

Some of our customers in Longview TX find that their indoor air quality issues improve dramatically when they use high quality filters. It’s important to check your filter monthly while your HVAC system is in use. However, some of our customers continue to struggle with allergies and other health issues in spite of the use of better filters. An air purifier can make a difference for those who need more intense air cleaning.

There are various models on the market. One of the most advanced choices is a germicidal air purifier. This type of system filters airborne particles efficiently. It also kills bacteria and viruses. The equipment coordinates with your HVAC system to ensure that your indoor air is healthy and comfortable. Our experts at JD’s A/C LLC can meet with you to discuss the latest models that may address your needs.

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