How Whole-House Dehumidifiers Impact IAQ

Woman Blowing Nose Tissue

How Whole-House Dehumidifiers Impact IAQ

Mar 22, 2016

Woman Blowing Nose Tissue

When you think about the air quality in your Longview, Texas home, do you think about seasonal allergies and dust? Indoor air quality (IAQ) threats are nothing to sneeze at, but keeping your indoor air clean goes a little deeper than dusty furniture. If improving hot and uncomfortable indoor air interests you, keep reading to find out how a whole-house dehumidifier improves your indoor air quality and boosts the comfort and health of household members.

Whole-House Dehumidifiers and Indoor Air Quality

The hot stuffy air can mean misery for asthma and allergy sufferers as it makes breathing difficult. The excess moisture also provides the ideal conditions for mold and dust mites to thrive. Both affect IAQ but molds present special cause for concern. Molds can destroy structures and furnishings and seriously affect health.

Increased moisture in the home not only creates health challenges, but it also impacts your pocketbook and your HVAC system. Here’s how:

  • Energy consumption: The cost of cooling your home increases as the humidity increases. You naturally want to reduce the thermostat settings to compensate for the warmer air.
  • Wear and tear: The increased demand on your cooling system during the hot, muggy months can take a toll on the unit.
  • System performance: mold can also form within the HVAC unit, affecting the way it operates. In addition, as air is distributed through your home, the mold within the system can enter your indoor air.

A whole-house dehumidifier helps to clean the air in your home. It draws warm air over a cold coil where it condenses. Dry, warmer air is then released by the dehumidifier. A whole-house dehumidifier maintains optimal levels — between 30 and 50 percent.

Whole-House Dehumidifier Vs. Portable Dehumidifiers

Comparing portable dehumidifiers, whole-house dehumidifiers, and indoor air quality coverage is like comparing a ceiling fan to a central air conditioning heating system. They are two very different systems. Whole-house dehumidifiers help to remove excess moisture from the indoor air. As opposed to portable or tabletop dehumidifiers that serve one room or small spaces, whole-house dehumidifiers connect to your HVAC system to provide complete home coverage.

With a whole-house model, there is the extra cost for professional installation. Considering the results of how whole-house dehumidifiers significantly improve indoor air quality it is a worthwhile investment especially if you have someone in the home who has serious respiratory problems. Moreover, whole-house dehumidification helps you feel much cooler, allowing you to increase the thermostat settings for nice energy savings.

Dehumidifier Sizing Considerations

Before you purchase and install a whole-house dehumidifier, your HVAC professional should analyze your home and needs in order to choose the right and most effective system. Similar to the way a heating and cooling system must be sized correctly to meet the home’s heating and cooling load, a dehumidifier must be sized correctly for the right level of dehumidification.

Your HVAC professional also takes into account HVAC add-on equipment and advanced features, such as a zoning system and variable-speed blower motor. Whole-house dehumidifiers work well with zoning systems and advanced AC or heat pump features. A heat pump with a variable-speed blower motor typically operates for longer cycles but at a reduced velocity. This allows better humidity control and air conditioning coverage through your home. Working together, both units greatly improve energy efficiency and comfort.

Professional Input

Your HVAC technician doesn’t only help you to select the right unit. Just as you invest in regular maintenance to maximize the performance and life of your heating and cooling system, you will also need to have your dehumidifier maintained. For convenience, you should schedule dehumidifier maintenance along with AC maintenance.

Your trusted technicians at JD’s A/C have many years of experience installing, servicing, repairing, and maintaining a variety of HVAC systems and related components. If you would like more information about whole-house dehumidifiers and what they can do for your home and indoor air quality, please contact JD’s A/C today at (903) 759-7483 to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff.

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There’s Frost on My Heat Pump! What Does That Mean?

Frost Heat Pump

There’s Frost on My Heat Pump! What Does That Mean?

March 18, 2016
Frost Heat Pump

Much of the heating and cooling system for your Longview, Texas home is out of sight. Your only clue that something may be amiss comes when the unit doesn’t seem to be performing as it should. Many of the problems that can develop are generally detected by your HVAC technician during routine maintenance or a service call. You might not be aware of frost on your heat pump if it occurs inside the unit. You will definitely know, however, that something is wrong when you see ice on the outdoor unit even in the warmer months.

Frost Inside Your Heat Pump

Frost on a heat pump is not unusual, especially on the coils. The issue, therefore, is when this happens in excess. The problem could be caused by:

  • Interference with refrigerant flow.
  • Low refrigerant charge
  • Turning the thermostat down very low
  • A dirty filter
  • A dirty or damaged indoor coil
  • Blocked or closed vents

These conditions will prevent your system from operating properly and can lead to further damage and higher energy bills.

Frost on the Outside Unit

It is not unusual for ice to form on your heat pump during the cold months — and it has nothing to do with the snow. This usually occurs because of a difference between the temperature of the outdoor air and the surface of the heat pump that has a temperature lower than the dew point. If the heat pump is covered in frost or has become encased in ice, however, it requires immediate professional attention to prevent damage. Turn off the system and call your HVAC contractor.

Heat pumps have a defrost cycle that prevents frost from building up on or within the unit. If there’s a problem with the defrost cycle, ice can build up on the coils or in severe cases, on the entire outdoor unit. Apart from problems with the defrost controls, issues with the compressor, reversing valve, fan motors, belts, bearings, and refrigerant flow can also cause frost on your heat pump.

Regular service and maintenance can prevent these problems. The technicians at JD’s A/C have the training and expertise to tackle a variety of HVAC issues. Give us a call today at (903) 759-7483 to learn more about our air conditioning services.

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How to Help Cool Your Garage

Home Garage Sky

How to Help Cool Your Garage

March 13, 2016
Home Garage Sky

Does your garage get too hot during those warmer months in Longview, Texas? Have you just decided to avoid going into the garage unless it’s absolutely necessary? You might be surprised to find out that there are ways you can cool your garage, allowing you to use that space as a work room, play area, or refuge for your pets.

Cooling Tips

It might require a little investment, but is necessary if you intend to get the most out of your garage. A few effective ways to air condition a garage or just keep it cool in general include the following:

  • If there is an attic or crawl space between the ceiling and roof, add insulation. This is not too expensive to do and is a worthwhile expenditure since it can go a long way toward reducing heat gain in the garage.

  • Add inside walls of sheetrock or wood and think about adding insulation in between the interior and exterior walls.

  • Plant shade trees around the garage, especially next to any windows and/or use blinds on garage windows.

  • A garage fan that vents to the attic will keep the garage cool and promote an exchange of stale garage air with fresh outside air.

  • Get a room or portable AC unit to condition the garage air. Find one that matches the square footage of the garage. If you’ve taken the other steps presented above, it will be easier and for the air conditioner to cool the garage space — making it more energy efficient.

An additional benefit to keeping your garage cool is that you also reduce heat gain in adjacent areas of the home. Rooms next to the garage can be harder to cool, especially if there is no insulation or not enough insulation in the walls.

Consult the Pros

There are ways to air condition a garage or at least keep it much cooler. Only you can weigh the needs versus the options and expense. However, your professional HVAC contractor at JD’s A/C can give you advice and provide you with the options available for your particular needs. Call us today at (903) 759-7483 for more information.

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