What is the Importance of HVAC System Size?

One of the more confusing of common HVAC terms is “size.” The following brief information will explain HVAC sizing and why it is important to have a properly sized system for your home.

central air conditioning

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What Does “Size” Mean?

In an HVAC context, size does not refer to the physical dimensions of the equipment. Instead, it refers to the functional capacity of the system–its ability to produce heating or cooling. The furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner you choose for your home must be properly sized to ensure that it will generate enough heating or cooling to keep your home at the temperature you prefer.

Why Focus on Size?

Improperly sized HVAC equipment will not provide the amount of heating or cooling your home needs. If the system is too small, it will not be able to generate enough warm or cool air. It will also work harder to keep up with temperature demands, which means it will wear out sooner and is more likely to malfunction and need repair. A system that is too large will produce too much heating or cooling, wasting both money and energy. Air conditioners, in particular, will cycle on and off more frequently, interfering in the equipment’s ability to dehumidify the interior of your home.

How is Equipment Sized?

When you explore how to choose the right size HVAC system for your home, a load calculation is usually necessary. The load calculation is a sophisticated analysis conducted by your HVAC professional. It considers the physical and thermal characteristics of your home, in addition to your personal temperature preferences, to determine the necessary HVAC equipment size. Load calculations should be performed according to industry standards such as those in Manual J, “Residential Load Calculations,” published by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

Conditioned Air, an HVAC contractor in Naples, provides expert home comfort and HVAC services for customers in Naples and the surrounding Florida communities. Contact us today for more information on how to choose the right size HVAC system and for professional assistance with sizing and selecting new heating or cooling equipment for your home.

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5 Effective Summer HVAC Tips for Your Business

The demands of a Florida summer can put significant stress on the air conditioner in your commercial facility. Here are some summer HVAC tips for businesses that want to get the best performance out of their HVAC system for the lowest possible cost.

air filter

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  1. Change air filters: Air filters help keep your indoor air clear of particulates and other contaminants. They also contribute to the airflow that keeps your air conditioner working properly. Change the air filters regularly for clean air and better HVAC equipment performance. Check filters monthly and replace them when they get dirty. If your indoor air tends to contain a lot of particulates, you may need to check and change air filters more often.
  2. Have regular preventive maintenance performed: Contact your HVAC service provider for regular preventive maintenance on your air conditioner. A maintenance tune-up is the best thing you can do to keep your cooling system working at its best level of performance and efficiency throughout the entire summer.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat: Use programmable thermostats to control your cooling system. For example, they offer automated set points that will reduce AC operation when it’s not needed, such as at night when your business is closed. The thermostat will then automatically increase cooling in the morning to ensure a comfortable environment when you open again.
  4. Seal the building properly: Make sure there are no cracks, gaps, or other openings where cool air can escape and hot air get in. Put weatherstripping around doors and windows. Seal around door and window frames with caulking. Make sure the ductwork of the HVAC system is intact and sealed at all connections.
  5. Upgrade equipment: If possible, upgrade your HVAC system to a newer high-efficiency system. High-efficiency cooling equipment saves energy and will slash your monthly energy costs.

Conditioned Air, an HVAC contractor in Naples, has more than a half-century’s experience taking care of the heating and cooling needs of customers in southwest Florida. Contact us today for more information on how to keep your air conditioner working at its peak this summer and for more summer HVAC tips for businesses.

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Hiring Conditioned Air Will Keep Your AC System Running Longer

After you make an investment in an air conditioning system for your home or commercial establishment, you will want to do everything possible to get your best return on that investment by extending the functional life of your AC. The best way to do this is through regular preventive maintenance and professional attention from your local trusted HVAC contractor.

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Conditioned Air, serving clients in and around Naples and southwest Florida, can help you with the services you need to make your AC system work properly, efficiently, and for as long as possible.

  • Conditioned Air provides preventive maintenance: Preventive maintenance consists of a series of system checks, adjustments, and minor repairs that keep your air conditioner running at its best. Maintenance can include tasks such as air filter changes, calibration of controls, checking refrigerant, checking electrical connections and components, and cleaning important components. Regular maintenance helps cut down on the possibility of malfunctions or breakdowns that require expensive repair and can shorten the expected life of your air conditioning equipment. For cooling systems, maintenance should be performed at least once a year, usually during springtime before temperatures rise and cooling demand increases.
  • Conditioned Air provides top-quality repair: When the inevitable occurs and your air conditioning system malfunctions, you want the system back up and working again as quickly as possible. Conditioned Air can help you with quick, professional repairs and service for your home or commercial cooling system. Give us a call at 1-888-COLD-AIR.
  • Conditioned Air provides expert advice: Need to know how to choose a new air conditioner? Have questions about whether it would be better to repair your existing equipment or buy an entirely new system? The experts at Conditioned Air can help you with these and other questions about heating, cooling, and HVAC equipment.

Conditioned Air is an HVAC contractor serving heating and cooling customers in and around Naples and southwest Florida. Contact us today for more information on the benefit of hiring HVAC contractors and for further details on how Conditioned Air can help you extend your air conditioner’s functional life.

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How You Can Prevent an Air Conditioner Emergency

The loss of air conditioning in the sweltering Florida heat can be a significantly uncomfortable event. In a commercial setting, you need an air conditioner to keep your employees and customers comfortable.

air conditioner emergency

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At home, air conditioning is needed to maintain an acceptable, and habitable, level of indoor comfort. There are several things that can be to stop the problem before it starts.

Here are some suggestions on how to prevent an air conditioner emergency:

  • Assess actual emergency status: Certainly, the loss of air conditioning when outdoor temperatures are hovering in the high 90s can be very uncomfortable. However, in most cases, an air conditioning breakdown will be a genuine emergency only when health or life are threatened by lack of cooling. There are some medical conditions where this may be the case. If someone in your home has a medical condition that cannot withstand the loss of cooling, make emergency plans to accommodate their needs in case the air conditioning fails.
  • Change air filters: Change the air filters in the cooling system regularly to ensure proper airflow and effective system operation. Air filters remove particulates such as dust, pollen, fibers, and mold from your indoor air, and they can get dirty quickly. When they are dirty and clogged, they will impede the flow of air through the system, which can lead to malfunctions and breakdowns. Check filters every month and change them when they get dirty.
  • Have preventive maintenance performed: Contact your local HVAC service provider for annual preventive maintenance on your air conditioner. A maintenance check-up allows an HVAC professional the chance to evaluate the equipment and make adjustments and repairs that will keep the system working properly. Call for maintenance in the spring before the height of cooling season.

As an HVAC contractor in Naples, Conditioned Air knows what it takes to keep your air conditioning system working properly under the hottest conditions Florida can offer. Contact us today for more information on how to prevent an air conditioner emergency and for the repair services you need when your cooling system isn’t working properly.

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What You Need to do in an Air Conditioner Emergency

When the temperatures in southwestern Florida rise, the last thing you want is for your air conditioner to go out. Sometimes, however, an air conditioner malfunction or breakdown is unavoidable. Here is information on how to handle an air conditioner emergency and help your HVAC professional get your cooling system functioning again as soon as possible.

air conditioner emergency

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  • Determine the severity of the situation: In most cases, the loss of air conditioning will be uncomfortable and aggravating, but it may not be an actual emergency. You’ll be able to wait until the system can be fixed, use fans for temporary cooling, or go somewhere else with air conditioning until the problem is resolved. However, if the lack of cooling in your home will endanger someone’s health, life, or safety, you will have a genuine emergency on your hands. If you can wait until regular business hours to call for service, it’s better to do so; however, if necessary, contact your HVAC service provider for an emergency repair.
  • Check the circuit breaker: Sometimes air conditioners pull a large amount of energy for operation, which in some cases can cause the circuit breaker to trip. If this happens, the solution is simply to reset the circuit breaker. This will restart the air conditioner without the need for any professional work. If the cooling system keeps tripping the breaker, however, you may need some expert service to see what the problem is.
  • Call in the professionals: Unless you are knowledgeable about HVAC service and repair yourself, the best option is to call in a professional air conditioner service technician. Amateur repairs, even those done with the best of intentions, can sometimes make matters worse and increase the cost of a professional repair. Your HVAC technician will have the knowledge, skills, and tools to do the job properly.

An HVAC contractor in Naples, Conditioned Air can help serves the air conditioning needs of customers in southwest Florida with expert maintenance, repair, and installation services. Contact us today for more information on how to handle an air conditioner emergency until you can get your cooling system working again.

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Troubleshooting Hot and Cold Spots in Your Home

When your residential HVAC system does not heat or cool your home consistently, it can be a considerable aggravation. You can use the following tips for troubleshooting hot and cold spots in your home and taking the necessary steps to improve the performance consistency of your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump.

Causes

programmable thermostat

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  • Duct problems: The ductwork is the pathway that heated and cooled air travels on its way to the inside of your home. If there are air leaks anywhere in this system, the conditioned air can escape before it has the chance to affect the comfort of your indoor environment. Poorly insulated ductwork can also allow conditioned air to heat up or cool down before it gets to your indoor spaces.
  • Equipment problems: Problems with the HVAC equipment itself can also lead to inconsistent heating and cooling.
  • Thermostat errors: If your programmable thermostat is placed in an area where it cannot take consistent temperature readings, it will send the wrong signals to your HVAC equipment. For example, a thermostat in direct sunlight will return a higher temperature reading than the actual temperature of the room, resulting in unnecessary heating or cooling, depending on the season.

Solutions

  • Fix ducts: Ductwork should be checked to ensure all sections are present and undamaged. They should fit tightly together and connections should be sealed with mastic or metal tape. Ducts should be insulated with blanked-style or rigid fiber board insulation.
  • Relocate thermostats: Thermostats should be mounted where they will give the most accurate readings of actual room temperature.
  • Equipment maintenance or replacement: Sometimes a preventive maintenance tune-up will be enough to return consistent performance. In severe cases, you may need to replace your HVAC equipment with newer, higher-efficiency models. A zoning system that heats and cools separate areas of your home could also be a solution.

Conditioned Air is a top choice for home cooling services among Naples air conditioning contractors. Contact us today for more information on troubleshooting hot and cold spots in your home and for the maintenance, repair, and replacement services you need to get consistent indoor comfort.

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Your Energy Efficient Home Could Receive Special Financing

Homeowners with an interest in energy efficiency may find that the equipment, supplies, and services required for making a house energy efficient can be costly. Fortunately, energy-conscious individuals are not completely on their own when it comes to financing improvements that can increase the efficiency of a residential structure. Here are some of the resources you may be able to take advantage of, including special financing for energy efficient homes.

Financing for Energy Efficiency

energy efficiency

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Numerous financial options are available for homeowners who want to either improve the energy efficiency of both new and existing homes. Both standard and government-backed loans exist for this purpose.

Energy-efficient mortgages (EEMS) can be found for both newly built homes and for refinancing existing homes after energy efficiency improvements have been made. These mortgages credit a home’s energy efficiency in the mortgage itself. The general result is that homeowners who qualify for this type of financing can usually get a larger loan.

One of the main requirements for an EEM is having the structure’s energy efficiency certified by a home energy rater. The rater will conduct a detailed inspection of the home to locate and verify elements that contribute to energy efficiency. The rater’s certification ensures the lender that the home is truly energy efficient.

Conventional energy efficient mortgages are available, as well as mortgages administered under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program and the Veteran’s Administration (VA) program for military personnel.

Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiency

There are also federal and state incentives available for homeowners who make improvements in their homes that increase energy efficiency, such as purchasing high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, making energy-boosting improvements to a home, or installing renewable power generating systems. Federal credits for these systems can be applied directly to the homeowner’s income tax return.

Conditioned Air has been providing professional residential and commercial cooling services to customers in southwest Florida for more than 53 years. Contact us today for more information on special financing for energy efficient homes and for help with the equipment and services you need to boost the energy efficiency of your home.

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What to Look for When Choosing a Central Air Conditioning System

A central air conditioning system provides homeowners with an efficient, reliable option for home comfort. Here are some of the factors and characteristics to look for in new or replacement equipment when choosing a central air conditioning system.

central air conditioning system

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  • Proper size: Each home has a cooling load, which is influenced by the homeowner’s preferences along with the particular physical and thermal characteristics of the structure. A central air conditioner must be sized properly to account for those factors while producing cooling effectively and efficiently. Before choosing a central air conditioning system, have your HVAC professional conduct a load calculation on your home. This process analyzes the characteristics of your home and provides numerical results that allow your HVAC pro to give you precise recommendations for cooling system size. Use reference sources such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual J, “Residential Load Calculation.”
  • High efficiency: Purchase the most energy-efficient central air conditioner possible within your budget. High efficiency equipment provides excellent cooling while using less energy, which will reduce your monthly cooling costs. Look for a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. High-efficiency units start with SEER numbers of 14, with average ratings of about 18. You can find equipment with SEER numbers in the middle 20s. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the equipment will be.
  • Dehumidification performance: One of the things an air conditioning system does is dehumidify the inside of your home. Choose a system with the best possible performance as a dehumidifier.
  • Additional efficiency features: Central air conditioners are available with additional features that decrease humidity even further. These include dual-speed air handlers that can run at a lower energy-saving level; air filter change lights that indicate when it’s time to put in a new filter; and fan only switches that allow the unit to operate without the cooling functions to provide ventilation only during cooler weather.

Conditioned Air provides top-quality home cooling services among Naples air conditioning contractors. Contact us today for more information on choosing a central air conditioning system and for professional advice on the system that will best serve your needs.

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Important Air Conditioning Concerns Regarding Health and Safety

Your air conditioner is an important component of residential comfort, but it can also contribute to keeping you healthy and free from disease. Air conditioning health and safety involves preventing the material that can grow inside an air conditioner from entering your living environment. It can also mean preventing the potential spread of disease-causing microorganisms. Here are some points to consider when evaluating air conditioning concerns regarding health and safety.

Regular Preventive Maintenance is Crucial

air filter

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Regular preventive maintenance contributes to improving your indoor air quality and preventing the spread of microorganisms that may have grown inside the equipment.

  • Air filters: Air filters are intended to capture particles of dust, pollen, mold, and other particulates as they circulate through the AC system. Dirty filters cannot effectively remove material from the air and can potentially release material that has already been captured. By regularly changing filters, you ensure a fresh, clean environment where these particulates can easily be trapped and held as air moves through the filter.
  • Cleaning: During a maintenance appointment, your HVAC tech should also clean the system to remove any dirt, mold, or other accumulations of material. This ensures there is no chance that these substances can come loose and be blown into your home’s interior along with the cool air from your AC.

Potential AC-Related Health Problems

  • Respiratory irritation: Particulates in the air can cause various types of respiratory irritation, potentially causing coughs, asthma attacks, or allergic reactions. Maintaining clean filters will significantly reduce this potential problem.
  • Infectious diseases: It is possible that infectious diseases could be transferred by AC systems. Legionnaire’s Disease, for example, a form of flu, has been found in cooling systems. Be cautious, however, when attributing any disease or health problem to the air conditioning system. Talk to your doctor for professional help determining the origin of any health issues.

Conditioned Air has been serving the residential cooling needs of customers in southwest Florida for more than 53 years. Contact us today for more information on air conditioning health and safety and how keeping your air conditioner well maintained can contribute to improved health and comfort.

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3 Types of Refrigerants Used in Our Air Conditioning Systems

Refrigerants are substances used in air conditioning systems to provide transfer of heat. Different types of home cooling systems require different types of refrigerants. In addition, government regulations and standards are changing regarding once-common refrigerants used in air conditioning equipment. Here is a brief overview of the use of refrigerants, with information on three of the most common types of refrigerants used in air conditioning systems.

How Refrigerants Work

Refrigerants are chemical substances that circulate through an air conditioning system. Forced-air systems and heat pumps use refrigerants to capture, move, and release heat. In air conditioners and standard heat pumps, refrigerant starts out as liquid, then is evaporated into a gaseous state. This process causes the refrigerant to capture heat. The gas is moved through the cooling system to a condenser, which causes the gas to return to its liquid form and release the heat it contains. When providing cooling, the refrigerant takes heat out of your home; when heating, it brings in heat captured from the air around the system’s outside unit.

Three Types of Refrigerants

air conditioning refrigerant

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  1. Freon: Freon was once a very common type of refrigerant used in air conditioners, but it is being phased out in favor of more environmentally friendly refrigerants. Newer refrigerants provide the same heat-transfer qualities but are less likely to cause environmental harm. The most common of these today is R-410A.
  2. Water: Simple water can act as a refrigerant in geothermal heat pump systems that capture and release heat in the ground outside your home. Sometimes this water is mixed with an antifreeze to make it work better.
  3. Sulfur dioxide and ammonia: These substances are highly toxic and are no longer used in air conditioning systems. Along with air, these chemicals were commonly used in the earliest air conditioning equipment. When more efficient and less harmful refrigerants were developed, they were no longer used.

Let Conditioned Air help you make the best-informed decisions on cooling equipment and refrigerant usage as refrigerant standards and requirements continue to evolve. Contact us today for more information on the types of refrigerants used in air conditioning systems and for expert assistance finding the refrigerant you need.

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  • About Theo

    Theo Etzel has been President and CEO of Conditioned Air Corporation of Naples, Inc. in SW Florida since 1995. Theo’s background is in economics and business development and he is also a writer on business management topics and sits on the editorial advisory board of HVACR Business Magazine. Theo enjoys mentoring other small business leaders in growing and improving their businesses.
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