Choosing Between A Heat Pump And An Air Conditioner In Houston

Heat Pump Or Air Conditioner: Which Is Better?

To give it the simplest possible definition, a heat pump is an air conditioner that also has the ability to heat the air it delivers as well as cool it down.

The benefits of a heat pump start getting interesting when you find yourself in need of a replacement air conditioner or even an all-new HVAC system. Under the right circumstances, a heat pump can replace an air conditioner and even a heating system at the same time. You have to have a clear understanding of your needs and the capabilities of a heat pump before deciding whether or not one’s right for your home.

This article will give you a thorough run-down on the differences between air conditioners and heat pumps and explain the benefits and potential drawbacks of a heat pump.

The Key Differences Between Heat Pumps And Air Conditioners

Heat pumps and air conditioners operate exactly the same way in hot summer months when their job is to cool down an indoors space. They both extract heat from the indoor air and dump it outside the building.

When the weather turns cold, though, the traditional air conditioner’s job is done. In most homes and businesses, air conditioners are teamed up with furnaces or electric heaters to deliver the heat required for keeping indoor spaces comfortable.

A heat pump gets its name from its ability to inject heat into space as well as take it out.

How does a heat pump do this? As we’ve already suggested, it’s capable of running in reverse to put heat into an indoor space instead of taking it out. That means that a heat pump has the ability to gather heat from the outside air, even in cold weather.

That sounds a little crazy, right? Rest assured, the technology is in there to make it all work. While the outdoor air certainly feels chilly in the winter, it still contains plenty of heat energy. Heat pumps are built to scavenge up that heat energy and transfer it into a building.

The Benefits Of The Heat Pump

Heat Pump Operation Is Very Affordable

One of the most common reasons for owners to install a heat pump instead of a traditional air conditioner plus furnace combo is that the heat pump is cheaper to operate. Thanks to outstanding energy efficiency, heat pumps can reduce your utility bills significantly. (Want the technical details on heat pump efficiency? Check out energy.gov’s article on the subject.)

Heat Pumps Have Lower Environmental Impact

A lot of the traditional options for heating a home or business oblige you to burn fossil fuels, like gas or oil. Heat pumps deliver useful heat energy without this reliance on non-renewable resources. While heat pumps still require power, which might be derived from fossil fuels depending on your local energy provider, overall they are much more environmentally-friendly tools for heating an indoor space.

A Simpler System Means Easier Maintenance And Repairs

When you use a heat pump to provide both heating and cooling, you have a significantly simpler system to take care of. Maintenance is faster and cheaper on a heat pump than a combination system. It’s also easier to diagnose heating and cooling problems. This simplicity translates into overall savings on operational and maintenance costs.

Heat Pumps Are Compact

Relying on a single system for both heating and cooling saves you space as well as money. The lower space requirements of heat pumps make them particularly popular in urban environments where every square foot is precious.

The Potential Drawbacks Of Heat Pumps

Heat Pump Efficiency Has Its Limits

The biggest limitation that holds heat pumps back is the unavoidable fact that they become less efficient the colder the weather gets.

Check our very basic description of heat pump operation above. It heats an indoor space by pulling heat energy from the outdoor air. The colder that the air is, the harder the heat pump has to work to produce the heat you’re looking for. The cost of operating a heat pump can rise significantly if it has to deal with very low temperatures for long periods of time.

Supplemental Heating May Be Required

While heat pump efficiency is improving all the time, they have not yet become viable all-year, all-climate sources for indoor heating. In regions where temperatures drop below freezing and stay there for a long time, you may have to make alternate arrangements to ensure that your home or business remains comfortable in the coldest months.

This applies particularly to home and business owners in the Northeast. It is common in these sorts of climates to add a backup heat source (like a furnace or central electric heater)to a heat pump. This adds to the overall cost of your HVAC system.

Heat Pump Vs. Air Conditioner: The Cost

The initial cost of equipment and installation is higher for a heat pump than an air conditioner. The difference between the two can run into the multiple thousands of dollars.

If your climate makes it feasible to use a heat pump for all of your heating and cooling needs, though, you may end up saving money by ditching the heating components of your system.

TIP FOR COMMERCIAL HEAT PUMPS

Up to the end of 2018, you have the opportunity to save big on a heat pump installation. A special tax rule allows you to deduct the full cost of heat pump equipment and installation from your 2018 tax return. Previously, tax incentives only allowed you to depreciate the cost of a heat pump across the equipment’s lifespan.

The net effect? You get a big tax break up front instead of a smaller one delivered over time.

Additional Guidance

Choosing a heat pump instead of a traditional air conditioner is a big step. It’ll have an impact on your home or business for many years, so seeking out expert guidance is a good idea. Talk to us when you need an HVAC replacement or upgrade! We’ll carefully review your specific needs and make sure you get the best equipment (at the best price!) to meet them.

Call us now if you have any questions on what you should choose!

Houston HVAC and Home Automation: Smart Thermostat and Speaker Capabilities Part 3

Guide to Home Automation Device And HVAC Compatibility Part III

Thermostat By Idevices
  • Capability with many smart speakers: Amazon Echo or other speakers using Alexa, as well as Google Home, or Apple Homekit
  • No learning capabilities
  • Main Features: You can control the thermostat when you are away from home using your phone and the app
  • Group settings for many different devices with a single command. Say something like “bedtime” to turn off lights and change the thermostat.
Insteon Smart Thermostat model 2441TH
  • Smart Speaker Compatibility: includes working with Amazon Echo, and Alexa devices (it requires Insteon Hub)
  • No learning capabilities – but can be programmed for 7 full days.
  • Main Features: Has an app to let you control it using your phone while away from the house
Lennox’s Icomfort E30
  • Smart Speaker Compatibility: includes working with Amazon Echo, Alexa devices, and the Apple Homekit
  • Learning Capability allows it to be programmed once and then adapts to any changes in your routine
  • Main Features: Will start fan when pollen levels are detected and are high
  • Has a remote control app so you adjust thermostat on-the-go
  • Uses a geofencing tracking sensor to let the thermostat know when you are close to home. Adjusts temperature to your desired setting.
  • Sets alert for the temperature, humidity, or for service issues.
  • Tells you when to change filters
Nest’s Learning Thermostat
  • Smart Speaker Capabilities allows it to work with Amazon Echo, Alexa devices, Google Home, and IFTTT
  • Has learning capabilities
  • Main Features: Gives you energy reports
  • Works with an app on your phone as a remote control
  • Provides alerts for the temperature, humidity, and service issues.
  • Tells you when it’s time to change filters.
Radio Thermostat 7 Day Programmable Thermostat CT 50 or CT80
  • Smart Speaker works with Google Home
  • No Learning Capabilities but can be set for a full 7-day schedule
  • Other Features: Use the app with it as a remote control
  • Uses geofencing location tracking so that your device knows when you are going home and sets your thermostat for you.
Venstar Colortouch T7900 Thermostat
  • Smart Speaker Compatibility works with Amazon Echo and Alexa devices
  • Learning Capabilities: None but can be set for a 365-day schedule
  • MORE FEATURES: The app works as a remote control
  • If your HVAC has a humidifier, use it to control humidity
Venstar’s Residential Explorer
  • Smart Speaker Compatibilities will work when you buy the Wi-Fi module on Amazon Echo and Alexa devices
  • No learning capabilities but can be programmed for 7 days
  • Other Capabilities: App works as a remote control

Setup A Smart Speaker

Smart thermostats usually communicate with smart speakers using a set of skills. Every brand of a smart speaker has its own set of skills which you can read about online. To connect the devices, simply download a skill or enable it. The choice depends on the brand you choose. When you set up the thermostat you learn the phrase that will allow you to control the thermostat with the speaker.

In a short time, you will be controlling the comfort of your home by speaking a simple phrase or command!

Call or contact us today with any questions that you might have. To start over on this article, visit here.

Houston HVAC and Home Automation: Smart Thermostat and Speaker Capabilities Part 2

Guide to Home Automation Device And HVAC Compatibility Part II

ECOBEE 4
  • Smart Speaker Compatible – Yes! This smart thermostat is not just fully Alexa-compatible, it has a built-in speaker and is capable of functioning as an Alexa hub right out of the box. It’s also compatible with Apple Homekit, Samsung SmartThings, Google Home, Wink, and IFTTT.
  • Learning Capability – The Ecobee 4 starts with a preset schedule. Over time, it assesses how long your specific equipment takes to reach temperature targets and adjusts itself accordingly. (aka Adaptive Recovery)
  • Other Features – The Ecobee 4 can respond to voice commands (thanks to its built-in Alexa functionality) without the need for any additional smart appliances. The thermostat is compatible with individual-room thermometers (sold separately) and can adjust its settings based on which rooms are and are not occupied. The Ecobee 4 creates energy usage reports. It also comes with a remote-control app so you can adjust it from anywhere.
EMERSON SENSI
  • Smart Speaker Compatible – Yes! This thermostat works with Alexa devices, Wink, and Google Home. Some Sensi models (Sensi WiFi and Sensi Touch WiFi) are compatible with Apple Homekit.
  • Learning Capability – None. The Sensi accepts a completely customizable 7-day program, though.
  • Other Features – Connects to HVAC equipment without a C-wire, allowing compatibility with older heating & cooling systems. The Sensi has a remote-control app available. The Sensi offers Geofencing location tracking to sense your approach and adjust your home’s temperature before you arrive.
JOHNSON CONTROLS GLAS SMART THERMOSTAT
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! The Glas has a built-in hub and speaker that use Microsoft Cortana. The thermostat also works with Amazon Echo/Alexa and Google Home.
  • Learning Capability -The thermostat gathers preference information by asking questions during the setup process.
  • Other Features – The Glas monitors air quality in your home. It has a remote control app. The thermostat also has a cutting-edge transparent OLED control panel.
HIVE HEATING AND COOLING PACK
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! Works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices.
  • Learning Capability – None. But its schedule can be programmed
  • Other Features – Comes with a remote-control app. The thermostat can be purchased separately or with a Hive Hub. The Hub is required for tying in other devices and controlling them (including the thermostat) through the app.
HONEYWELL SMART COLOR 7-DAY PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! Works with Google Home, Amazon Echo/Alexa devices, and IFTTT.
  • Learning Capability – Yes! The thermostat will learn how long your system requires to reach set temperatures and adjust its programming accordingly. (aka Adaptive Recovery)
  • Other Features – The thermostat creates energy use reports. It can be controlled remotely with its app. You can also set alerts for equipment issues, temperature, and humidity. The thermostat even tracks filter life and lets you know when it’s time to replace!
HONEYWELL WIFI 7-DAY PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! Works with Apple Homekit, Google Home, and Amazon Echo/Alexa.
  • Learning Capability – None. The thermostat does accept 7-day schedule programming.
  • Other Features – Can be controlled remotely using the appropriate app.
HONEYWELL LYRIC (T5)
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! Works with Amazon Echo/Alexa, Apple Homekit, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings.
  • Learning Capability – Yes! The thermostat learns how long your HVAC system needs to achieve set temperatures and adjusts its settings accordingly. (aka Adaptive Recovery)
  • Other Features – The thermostat features geo-fencing capability – it can tell when you’re on your way home and make suitable changes to your home’s temperature. It can be controlled remotely via an app. The thermostat has alerts for temperature extremes and tracks filter life.

To continue on with the rest of this article, visit here. Call or contact us today with any questions that you might have.

Houston HVAC and Home Automation: Smart Thermostat and Speaker Capabilities Part 1

Guide to Home Automation Device And HVAC Compatibility Part I

Are you searching for a smart speaker to get for your house? In order to maximize your investment, it is essential to choose one that will work with smart devices you already own, including your home’s HVAC smart thermostat.

Also, if you have a smart speaker already, like Amazon Echo (and Alexa) or Google Home, you may want to consider getting upgraded to a smart thermostat so that you can use simple voice commands to adjust the comfort settings. For individuals who don’t want to have to stop what they are doing in order to make adjustments to their home comfort settings, this is the ultimate luxury. The problem is, it isn’t an easy task to determine which smart speaker devices work with which thermostats. It also can be very time consuming and confusing.

This is why we have compiled this guide on home automation and HVAC. You will find useful information on the leading smart thermostats along with whether they are compatible or not with the smart speakers that are the most popular. If you are wondering how smart thermostats and smart speakers work together along with what you are going to need to connect the devices, at the end we will describe this process.

Important: As smart speaker and thermostat manufacturers continue to introduce new features and models, compatibility might change. The information contained in the guide is for helping you save time by narrowing your options down. You always need to confirm compatibility (between smart speakers and thermostats as well as between HVAC systems and thermostats) with device manufacturers prior to buying anything. You might be able to get advice from your residential HVAC provider.

Compatibility of Smart Speakers with Smart Thermostats

Are you wondering which smart thermostats work with Apple Home Kit, Amazon Echo, and Alexa, or Google Home? Use our chart to find the models that are compatible.

Smart Thermostats: Key Features and Compatibility

Carrier Cor TP-WEM01-A WiFi Thermostat
  • Compatibility With Smart Speakers: Apple Homekit, Amazon Echo (and other Alexa devices)
  • Learning Capabilities: None, but may be programmed on a 7-day schedule
  • Other Features to Note (Similar to the Bryant Housewise, given that the same manufacturer makes both brands)
  • Controls humidity settings (using compatible HVAC equipment)
  • Monthly energy reports are generated
  • An app is available for the remote control (which allows you to control it while you are away from home)
  • Alerts are created for service issues, humidity, temperature, and it even alerts you when you need to change the filters on your system.
Ecobee 3 Lite
  • Compatibility of Smart Speakers: Apple Homekit, Amazon Echo (and other Alexa devices), Google Home, Wink, IFTTT, Samsung Smart Things, Cortana
  • Learning Capabilities: A preset schedule comes with it, and then it learns the amount of time it takes for the HVAC system to get to the set temperature and then adjusts automatically (adaptive recovery)
  • Other Features To Note
  • Room-specific temperature sensors are optional, and even can detect which of your rooms are currently occupies and make the proper adjustments
  • A C-wire is not required to connect with HVAC equipment – so it might work with HVAC systems that are older
  • Energy reports are generated
  • An app is available for remote control (allows you to control it while you are away from home)

To continue on with the rest of this article, visit here. Call or contact us today with any questions that you might have.

Furnace Fussing? Houston HVAC Repair AC Man Has Your Back

Why Your Furnace Is Acting Up

A clanking furnace definitely can cause you to lose sleep, but it is also an indication that extra attention needs to be paid to your HVAC system. Think of those sounds as being symptoms. If you are running a fever, then you know your body is trying to fight an illness off; in a similar way, those strange sounds alert you to the problems within the inner workings of your furnace.

HVAC issues, in particular, are likely to arise in Houston during the fall and winter. If you own a heat pump, it probably isn’t used to having to work in reverse in order to heat your house, which makes it more likely for previously unnoticed problems to arise during the brief heating season here. The same is true for a furnace if you own one.

Fortunately for you, an experienced professional can provide you with a diagnosis of your HVAC system which is based on the noises that your heat pump or furnace is making. The following are the most common sounds that are an indication that your furnace has a problem.

Chirping, Screeching, and Squealing

If you hear a chirping, screeching, or high-pitched squealing sound, most likely the problem relates to the blower motor. That is the part of the furnace that powers the fan that distributes warm air throughout your home. when the blower motor is impaired there is less heat inside your house.

In this situation, there might be one of three issues that could be causing the blower motor to make loud noises.

  • No lubricant – Without any lubricant, the blower motor gets subjected to additional friction that is unnecessary. Search for oil ports on the two sides of the blower shaft or blower motor. Then put two to three drops of oil into each of them, if your system does have them. It very important to not use all-purpose oil, but furnace-specific oil instead.
  • Loose fan belt – It is on the motor pulley. If the belt has too much slack, the belt will need to be tightened in order to restore the tension. Also, if the belt is too worn it will need to be replaced.
  • Motor bearing problems – Bearings make it possible for the motor to deliver the necessary force for powering the furnace and also reduce unwanted friction at the same time. You will have to replace any worn or broken bearing with new ones so that the functionality is restored.

Thumping, Scraping, and Clanking

If they are loud noises and they continue to persist even when the furnace is on, and not only when it is first starting up, there may be several potential things that are causing it.

  • Broken or loose blower wheel – The blower motor spins this wheel, and it may move around and get loose, which can produce a loud metallic noise. Over time that may cause more serious damage, so the best thing to do is to tighten it right away. If it gets damaged you will need to replace it.
  • Loose motor mount – At times, the motor mount may come loose, which will allow parts along the housing to clang and clatter.
  • Unbalanced or rattling parts – Many parts are contained in the entire blower assembly that may come out of alignment. A professional will be able to asses which parts have to be replaced and which ones can be salvaged.

Banging Sound on Startup

If there is a banging noise only when your furnace comes on, then it is probably not a loose mechanical part. It is most likely one of the following problems.

  • Delayed ignition – A chain of reactions runs a furnace. Based on the specific temperature chosen by the thermostat, a valve will open and allow natural gas inside of the combustion chamber. Then the igniter or pilot light ignites the burner, and your home is warmed by the heat that comes from the reaction.

At times the ignition doesn’t work immediately, which leads to gas building up. When it ignites finally, it results in a mini-explosion – which is the loud banging sound that you hear – and that can damage the heat exchanger to the point beyond repair eventually. The delay may be caused by improper gas pressure, an ineffective flame on the pilot light, faulty igniter, or dirty burner.

  • Funky ductwork – If it doesn’t appear like the bang is coming from the actual furnace, then most likely it is a result of the ductwork expanding and then popping out. Your ducts might be rectangular or too small and may need to be replaced so that the noise issue is alleviated. The fix might also be as simple as getting more vents opened to relieve the pressure or double-check to make sure the air filter does not have any debris inside of it.

Other Sounds

There could be other sounds made by your furnace like clicking, rattling, rumbling, or humming. If only a humming or clicking noise is made by your furnace when it first starts up, then everything is probably functioning okay. However, although it is easy to fix some of those noises, you don’t ever want to place your family and yourself at risk for something that is more serious, such as carbon monoxide poisoning or complete loss of heat. Erring on the side of caution is the best thing to do, and get a professional HVAC technician to make an assessment of the condition of your furnace.

AC Man is a professional HVAC repair company in Houston, TX. We offer both commercial and residential HVAC services. Give us a call today to speak with a professional HVAC repair technician, or check our services.

Heating Tips From Leading HVAC Repair Contractor AC Man

Common Heating Mistakes Homeowners Make In The Winter

During winter in Houston, the days tend to be warm enough that no heating is required to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. On the other hand, nights can be chilly after the sun sets, so you are not likely to think about how much turning on the heat will cost – you simply want your heating system to work. Unfortunately, your heating system could be costing more than you realize if you are not aware of steps you could be taking to save energy. There are some common heating mistakes that you may be making while keeping your home warm during winter, so you should take care to keep your heating system working efficiently so your home can be warm without unnecessary costs.

Do Not Turn Your Thermostat All the Way Up At One Time

When your heating system has been turned off for a considerable length of time, you may think of turning it up to a high temperature will heat your home quickly. While this will work, this puts to much stress on your heating system which will reduce its efficiency. This will lead to excess energy use since the unit is not running at top efficiency, and your energy bills will go up. It is much better to turn your thermostat up gradually to reduce the stress on the unit.

Do Not Close Your Curtains During The Day

While the nighttime temperatures in Houston can drop to 40 degrees, there is usually enough sunlight during the day that you will not need to turn up the heat. In addition, if your home is kept relatively warm during the day your furnace will not need to work very hard when you do turn it on after sunset.

Avoid Using Space Heaters

Some people who live in a relatively mild climate such as Houston make the mistake of running space heaters in an attempt to save money. This may work in some cases such as heating a small room like a kitchen or bedroom, but running several at once to heat the whole house can be expensive. Space heaters are high-energy appliances, so they really are not very efficient at heating from a cost perspective. There is also the very real concern that space heaters can be dangerous if not carefully monitored and house fires often are the disastrous result, so the use of space heaters should be avoided if at all possible.

Do Not Close Unused Vents

You may be tempted to close the heat vents located in rooms that are not used very often. It would seem logical that the heat will then be directed to the open vents and provide more heat to those locations. The ducts in most systems are specifically sized to provide heated air to every part of the home, so changing this balance could possibly increase the stress on your heating system. This could eventually reduce the efficiency and longevity of your heating system, so make sure you have all the vents in your home open.

Do Not Depend Entirely On Your Heating System

The heating system in your home is built to be powerful and efficient, but it cannot compensate for certain problems within your home. If you find it difficult to maintain a temperature above 68 degrees even though your thermostat is set at 70, the problem may not be with your heater. A home that has air leaks will be drafty and chilly even though the heating unit is working properly. Make sure you check around your windows and doors to detect any minute cracks or leaks where cold air could be entering.

Do Not Neglect Regular Heating System Maintenance

Too many times people are under the impression that their system is working fine so long as its heating their home. It is very important to have your system checked annually (ideally in the Fall) to make sure there are no unknown issues that could cause problems once cold weather arrives. Even if the unit does continue to produce all the heating necessary, it could be running less efficiently than possible and using more energy which will end up costing more in heating costs.

AC Man is a professional HVAC repair company in Houston, TX. We offer both commercial and residential HVAC services. Give us a call today to speak with a professional HVAC repair technician, or check our services.

Should I Cover My Air Vents?

Air Vent Covers Yea or Nea?

The hot summers are bearable if you have air conditioning that works perfectly. You should not have to endure the heat of summer because you have a faulty HVAC system.

Of the many HVAC system problems we have been called to fix, we have discovered that the problem can be with the air vents that are blocked or close. As such, the homeowners will be quick to think that their heating and cooling system is on the fritz.

The issue of blocked or closed air vents can be accidental. It may happen when rearranging the furniture or when doing some general cleaning and fail to notice the vents. In other cases, people will close the vents with the intention of changing the room temperature around the house but will forget and leave them shut. If the vents are not open so that air can move around the house from the AC, then this increases the risk of damage cost repairs or a new HVAC system.

 

Why You Should Not Cover Air Vents

  1. It interferes with your system’s airflow
    When the air from the HVAC unit is dispersed into the vents, it needs to flow freely so that the entire system can work properly. Shutting the vents forces excess air back to the AC unit that this leads to costly damages.
  2. It wastes your money
    The restricted flow of air in the vent which can be due to blockage or closed pathways will force the HVAC to work double time to have the desired or set room temperature. In short, the unit will use up more electricity trying to attain the set temperatures, and this leads to a high utility bill.
  3. You could damage your heat exchanger
    With air flow restricted, the eventuality is a buildup of air pressure in the vents that will cause problems with the heat exchanger. The increasing pressure will cause the heat exchanger to crack and possibly release carbon monoxide into the house.
  4. It may trigger complications with your air duct system
    The blocked air will keep building up a press, and it will eventually force its way through the ductwork to escape. As a result, this weakens the duct system; and if the ductwork is old, then damages can be significant and costly.

So, as you think of a new HVAC system for your home, you should consult our experts to ensure that you make the best purchase. We have dedicated technicians ready to pick your call and help you make the right choice that will meet your needs.

Top-Rated Air Conditioning Repair Services

AC Man of Houston is your reliable air conditioning service provider. Our AC experts can help inspect, clean, repair, and replace the HVAC in your home or office. We have vast knowledge about all AC makes and models.

We offer our services to Katy and the Greater Houston, TX areas. Our years of excellent service delivery has seen as become the leading choice for all AC service issues. And since we know that there are many other contractors our there you can hire, we strive to go the extra mile to ensure that you are happy and satisfied with your services. AC Man will send qualified, skilled, technicians that are courteous and dedicated to their work. They will assess your home or business HVAC system and provide the best service solutions with a price quote for any repairs handed to you before work begins.

AC Man is a professional HVAC repair company in Houston, TX. We offer both commercial and residential HVAC services. Give us a call today to speak with a professional HVAC repair technician, or check our services.

Shifting Your HVAC System To Green Technology Pt2

Reasons Why You Should Switch To Green HVAC Technology

Custom Cooling And Heating In Multiple Zones

If you are looking for the ultimate in cooling and heating zones, you should look at a Variable Refrigerant Flow system. This is green HVAC technology that uses small air handlers which are individually controlled but make up a full system. The VRF of the main system will detect the requirements for each zone and will control the amount of refrigerant that flows to each of the air handlers.

This type of system will be able to deliver green cooling and heating. In fact, this system could do both at the same time. Unlike other traditional systems, the compressor of these units will provide the right amount of cooling required for the conditions of smaller zones. This means that the system runs less frequently and at a lower capacity which is what makes it energy efficient.

The green HVAC technology which is used will also capture heat from the cooling process and redirect this to the areas in the property that require heat. The small indoor air handlers are also quieter than a traditional split system.

Readily Available Solar Power

Solar energy is probably the most well known green technology with rooftop-mounted systems and solar farms being prominent. Solar panels will contain photovoltaic materials which cover sunlight into electricity. This electricity can be used for lighting, heating, and cooling.

The installation of a solar energy system can be expensive, but there are tax rebates as well as other incentives which can be used to reduce the initial costs. There are also some less expensive systems which make use of liquid and air to absorb the energy of the sun and transfer it to the heating of a building.

Geothermal Is Not Just For Icelanders

Iceland is the pioneer of geothermal energy and this is no surprise when you consider their volcanoes and geysers. The country uses this type of energy in around 87% of buildings to ensure that they are heated. However, this is an energy source that is not only available for Icelanders and it is a viable option for people in the US as well.

Geothermal systems will take advantage of the constant temperature found a few feet below the surface of the Earth to provide heating and cooling. The system requires a geothermal heat pump and looping piping which is underground and contains either a refrigerant or water. In the cold months, the fluid in the pipes will get heat from the ground and transfer this into the air of the building. In the summer, the process will be reversed with the heat traveling out of the house and into the ground.

There is an added bonus to this system and that is the creation of hot water. It is important to note that these systems will use electricity, but they are still more energy efficient than other types of technology.

AC On Ice

A new green HVAC technology that you should know about is an ice-powered air conditioner. This will not only cool the air, it will also reduce the amount of energy you use.

The AC unit will freeze large amounts of water during the night. During the hottest [art of the next day, the ice will be used by the unit instead of a compressor to cool the refrigerant. This will reduce the electricity that is used by the cooling system. As the ice melts, the normal AC system will start to kick in while the water to reused and frozen overnight.

It is important to note that this AC unit will use electricity. However, the combination of the cooling and the cost saving is likely to make this green HVAC technology popular as it starts to become available to the general public.

Bringing Your Radiator Into The 21st Century

Heating systems which use hot water flowing through the pipes and providing heat are nothing new. However, a much better green technology will be the hydronic heating system.

This modern system will use a liquid, which could be antifreeze, water or another liquid, to run through plastic tubing. The tubing can run under the floors, through baseboards, radiators or another heating exchange. The heat will then be transferred via radiation, convection or conduction depending on the system design. The boiler used to heat the liquid can run on geothermal power or solar power instead of fossil fuels to make it greener.

AC Man is a professional HVAC repair company in Houston, TX. We offer both commercial and residential HVAC services. Give us a call today to speak with a professional HVAC repair technician, or check our services. Click here to proceed to the first issue of this article.

Shifting Your HVAC System To Green Technology Pt1

9 Reasons To Switch To Green HVAC Technology

Heating and cooling accounts for at least 56% of a typical home’s energy usage. This is according to research conducted by the U.S Department of Energy. These figures can, however, change depending on the household’s energy needs, with some commercial building registering up to 73% of energy usage. These figures should be a real cause for concern considering how much you have to pay for the same. Switching to a greener, more efficient, HVAC technology can, however, help keep the bills on the low, as well as reduce your carbon footprint. This applies to both commercial and residential property owners.

Outlined below are 9 good reasons why you need/should embrace the green HVAC technology.

1. Tax Savings

Under the 2018 federal law, switching to a newer green HVAC system can give you a tax break on the same. While this will depend on the system in question, you could save up to $5000 worth of tax break from installing these systems. This not helps bring down energy bills but also takes care of the cost of replacing the older HVAC system.

2. R22 In Air Conditioners Will Soon Be Illegal

R22 is the standard refrigerant used in most air conditioning and heat pump systems. This ozone-depleting refrigerant is however due to being phased out, come 2020 as the government tries to protect the environment. Banning R22 in the US also means new ACs will have to use the more ecologically-friendly R410A refrigerant. This also means servicing the older HVAC systems will become harder as importing R22 will be illegal after 2020.

Getting rid of that old R22 AC unit and replacing it with the newer green HVAC systems would therefore be a wise idea. In addition to the tax break benefits, the newer systems run efficiently and also use very little energy.

3. Local Support for Green Systems

Almost everyone, including state and local governments, have stepped in, in promoting the use of green technology to help save the environment. A good example of this is the NYC Carbon challenge that encourages commercial tenants, business owners, private organizations, and nonprofits to work towards reducing their carbon footprint.

The Mayor’s office, under this program, provides the resources and support to participants in this challenge, which enables them to implement improvements in their workplaces. This includes choosing the best green alternatives for heating and ventilation, sustainability initiatives, and efficient on-site generation of energy. With such an initiative, the city might be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% by the year 2050.

4. Several Green Enhancements for Old HVAC Systems

If you aren’t ready to give up the sweet old HVAC system just yet, you can then take advantage of green enhancements that can make it better.

One of the best investments for the HVAC system is the thermostat. Investing in a smart thermostat makes it easier to control and monitor the system anywhere, anytime using an app from your phone, computer, or tablet. The smart thermostat makes it possible to preset temperatures, as well as control the same remotely. This comes in handy if you had forgotten to adjust the setting before leaving the office. This translates to more energy savings in the long run.

Zoning is another feature you can have installed and enabled on your HVAC system. This feature enables one to control heating and cooling cycles in various rooms (zones) separately. It works by keeping occupied spaces comfortable while shutting off cooling and heating in unused areas. This means you can have either the bedroom or the living room warm, which means no energy is wasted on unused areas and zones. This feature is designed to provide more comfort while lowering energy consumption and costs.

Another useful feature you can have incorporated in the HVAC system is the HVAC economizer. This feature reduces the time the AC system needs to run, hence reducing energy usage by up to 75%. An economizer would be a wise investment even for the old HVAC system. This however isn’t something you can do as a DIY. You’ll need a professional HVAC technician to set it up for optimal performance.

 

AC Man is a professional HVAC repair company in Houston, TX. We offer both commercial and residential HVAC services. Give us a call today to speak with a professional HVAC repair technician, or check our services. Click here to proceed to the next issue of this article.

Could Humidifiers Help Your Residential HVAC System?

A Guide To Portable Humidifiers For Your Residential HVAC System

The majority of homes require additional humidification, particularly during the winter months, to help keep a balanced humidity level in the air and avoid any dry air problems. One of the best methods of dealing with humidity issues is by using humidifiers; however, it may not be possible to install a whole-house humidifier. In these cases, a portable humidifier is the next best option as this unit adds moisture directly to the area where you need it most!

Is The Potable Humidifier The Best Option For Me?

While the whole-house humidifier is an ideal solution for most people, in certain circumstances the portable humidifier may be the more suitable solution. Portable humidifiers may be more suited to your needs if you have any of the following circumstances:

1. You Rent The Property

If you are renting your home, then an installation of a full-property humidifier may not be possible because of its permanent application. Moreover, permanent installation of the whole-house humidifier means you cannot take it with you when you leave.

2. The Property Does Not Have A Duct System

If the property you live in does not present with a duct system, then you are not able to install a humidifier. In this case, the portable humidifier would be the best option as it adds moisture to the area where a duct system is not available for use.

3. You Require Moisture In Areas Temporarily

One of the greatest benefits of using a portable humidifier is that they can be placed in specific areas around the house, as and when they are required. It is ideal for adding humidity to problem areas, or when someone is ill and requires moisturized air as a treatment.

What Is The Portable Humidifier?

The portable humidifier operates by adding moisture into the atmosphere within a specific area or room. While the whole-house humidifier is attached to the property’s heating system and utilizes the property’s ductwork to distribute moisture, the portable humidifier operates independently of the house’s HVAC system. This means it can be moved about as required to distribute moisture directly to the specific areas when necessary. How portable humidifiers operate is dependent on the type of humidifier you are using, as is discussed below.

What Are The Different Types Of Portable Humidifiers?

There are several types of portable humidifiers available to release moisture into a specific area when required. The primary types include the following:

1. The Cool Mist Humidifier

The cool mist humidifier produces a cool vapor that spreads moisture through the air.

2. The Warm Mist Humidifier

The warm mist humidifier produces a warm vapor from heated water, which is then cooled and released into the allocated area.

3. The Ultrasonic Humidifier

The ultrasonic humidifier is a portable humidifier model utilizing a metallic diaphragm. The high-frequency vibrations form moisture droplets that are sent into the air.

4. The Evaporative Humidifier

An evaporative humidifier is a portable option using a damp wick to create moisture, and then a fan to dispense it into the air.

What About Portable Humidifier Output?

The output of a portable humidifier refers to the amount of moisture it creates, and this is measured using gallons per day. The average portable humidifier outputs approximately one to nine gallons per day; however, the amount is influenced by the model and type of humidifier.

To determine the most suitable output for a portable humidifier in your house, it is recommended that you measure the living area the unit will service. Select a humidifier unit with a suitable output according to the square footage of the area in which it will be used. If the house is a well ventilated one, you will not require high levels of humidity as compared to poorly ventilated homes – keep this in mind when choosing your new portable humidifier.

How Do I Care For My Portable Humidifier?

Unlike the whole-house humidifier, the portable humidifier requires regular refilling and maintenance to continue effective operation. A whole-house model has a dedicated water supply line; however, the portable option uses a water reserve exclusively that needs to be refilled regularly so the unit can continue to produce moisture.

The amount of times you need to refill the water reserve varies according to several factors including the size of the humidifier’s tank, the humidifier brand, how long the humidifier is running, and the level of air dryness. A unit with larger output can run for days without a need for a refill, but smaller units may need to be refilled several times per day. Always review the owner’s manual regarding the recommended refill frequency, and monitor the humidifier to determine when it should be refilled based on your use.

AC Man is a professional HVAC repair company in Houston, TX. We offer both commercial and residential HVAC services. Give us a call today to speak with a professional HVAC repair technician, or check our services.