Posts Tagged ‘Orono’

Your Newcastle HVAC System and Electricity

Monday, August 20th, 2012

While not every HVAC system in your Newcastle home requires electricity, many of them do. Your air conditioner, furnace or water heater and ventilation system all need access to the central power line. So what does that mean for your system and what problems should be you beware of?

How Your HVAC System Uses Electricity

How your HVAC system works depends largely on which components need electricity to operate. Here is a quick summary of how each system uses electricity:

  • Air Conditioning – Most air conditioners are electric and therefore use electricity based on the number of BTUs produced. For example, if your air conditioner produces 25,000 BTUs and has a SEER of 16, it can produce 16 BTUs for every watt of electricity consumed per hour. As a result, it consumes 1,562.5 watts per hour when the system is running at maximum capacity. If it runs at full capacity for 8 hours per day, 30 days a month in the summer, that’s 375 kilowatt hours – which is the measurement unit you’ll see on your electric bill.
  • Ventilation – Your ventilation system is almost always going to use electricity to circulate and filter air. While mechanical filters rely on the movement of air to remove certain particles, ventilation systems have a variety of components including fans and possibly even condenser coils to conserve energy as air is exchanged between the inside and outside.

Electricity plays an important role in your Newcastle HVAC system no matter how your system works. To ensure yours continues to operate as intended, have your power system checked on a regular basis when the rest of your HVAC system is serviced. To schedule your annual tune-up today, give Advantage Airtech a call!

Toronto HVAC Tip: Simple Filter Tips to Keep Your Ducts Clean

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

If there’s one thing you can count on with a home comfort system in Toronto, it’s that there will be higher energy bills in the summer and an increase in dust and debris in your ductwork. But, luckily the latter can be fixed with a few simple filtration upgrades in your home.

The Nature of a Forced Air System

When you flip the switch on your thermostat and your air conditioner or furnace turns on, it starts drawing air from inside your house, conditioning it to the right temperature, and then circulating it back into your rooms through an air handler and ductwork. Of course, a good system should have proper ventilation to circulate new air into the house, but let’s face it – no matter how much ventilation you have in your home, there will always be dust and debris from things like pets, plants and other common household items.

So, when the air gets circulated back through the ducts, all sorts of debris and sediment build up. That’s not to mention the possible presence of actual contaminants like bacteria or mold. Luckily, because of how your forced air system is built, these are not tough problems to deal with.

Installing the Right Filters

Filtration is incredibly important for adding the right level of protection to your home’s ductwork. Usually placed directly within your air handlers, whole house air filters are designed to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns (if you purchase a high quality HEPA filter). That pretty much covers all dust, sediment, pollen, dander and other common allergens.

There are a number of other upgrades you can make to capture just about everything you house spits into those ducts – from bacteria and viruses to smoke and other air pollutants, but at the very least a good filter system will save your lungs, cut back on duct cleaning costs and make it much easier to maintain your home’s air quality throughout the year.

To learn more about HEPA filters and the specific ratings offered in various products, here is a link to the EPA’s guide to home air cleaners. It has a handy breakdown of different types of filtration and what each filter grade can capture.

For more information about how to improve your indoor air quality in Toronto, give Advantage Airtech Heating & Air Conditioning a call today!

Newcastle Geothermal Installation Question: How Effective Is Geothermal Heating?

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Geothermal heating is an efficient way to use the Earth’s natural resources to heat a Newcastle building’s interior. But is it an effective way?

Consider the cost of geothermal heating. Once you get past the initial installation costs of a geothermal heating system, which are higher than other conventional heating systems, its operating costs are much lower because of its use of a natural, renewable heat source – the Earth. If you plan to stay in your home for many years, a geothermal heating system will likely pay for itself because according to International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, geothermal operating efficiencies are 50-70% higher than other heating systems, which represents a substantial lowering of energy costs.

And according to a leading electric utility company, the cost of electricity for operating a geothermal heat pump is lower than any other heating system which includes natural gas, propane, and oil.

Beyond lower energy costs, geothermal heating leaves a smaller carbon footprint than other heating systems. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the average U.S. home is 17%, most of which comes from burning fossil fuels for electricity. Geothermal uses natural heat from the ground and therefore uses 30-60% less energy than more conventional heating and cooling systems. Using less energy equals less carbon dioxide production.

A geothermal heating system is only as effective as the equipment used to deliver it throughout the building. The most common delivery method is through a ground source heat pump. This pump pulls the heat from the earth and distributes it.

The components of a geothermal system also include a compressor, air handling unit, and duct system. When all are installed and maintained correctly, a geothermal heating system will be just as effective in heating a building’s interior as any other heating system. Just be sure you hire your qualified Newcastle heating contractor, Advantage Airtech, to install and service your geothermal heating system.

Your HVAC System’s Condensate Drain Line: Some Pointers From Enniskillen

Friday, August 26th, 2011

There are a lot of components involved in a properly working HVAC system your Enniskillen home. One component that many people overlook is the drain line for the air conditioning system. Your air conditioning system has condenser coils that sweat the water drawn from the air in your home as it is cooled by your AC unit. These coils produce a significant volume of water, especially when it humidity is high, so a condensate drain pan is installed to capture the moisture and keep it from damaging your home.

A drain line from the drain pain out of your home is required to transfer all that extra water, but it can easily become clogged by debris in the area or simply from heavy condensation. If this happens, the drain line might need to be cleared or even replaced.

Inspecting your Condensate Drain Line

Full inspection of your drain line involves checking quite a few components, so I will point you to Inspectapedia for a thorough rundown of what you should look for (and some pictures to show you what you don’t want to see). But, in short, you want to look for evidence that your condensate drain is overflowing or that the liquid in your drain pan is backing up into the air handler.

You may also notice that there is no liquid coming out of the condenser – a sign that there may be a major problem in the system that needs immediate inspection. If this happens, make sure you check for blockages and if nothing is present, call a contractor.

Cleaning Your Drain Line

Each year, it is recommended that you clean your drain line to make sure it is clear and ready for the summer’s heavy cooling and high humidity. The simplest way to do this is to disconnect the drain line and attach a hose to blow the line clear. This can get a little messy, so make sure you dress for the occasion. Another option if you have a wet/dry vac is to attach the hose to the end of the drain line and suck free any moisture still in there. Most wet/dry systems have attachments for drain line clearing or you can order one.

If your drain line is not clearing properly or you think there may be structural damage suffered during the winter, call a professional for a more thorough inspection. If you have regular maintenance done on your AC system each spring, this should be part of the process so make sure you write down any questions you have for when the contractor visits your home.

How Do I Check for a Dirty Evaporator Coil?

Friday, June 10th, 2011

The evaporator coil is an essential piece of your air conditioning system. It absorbs heat from air that passes over it, and that air then travels into your home to cool it. So if your coil is dirty or isn’t functioning properly, the cooling power of your air conditioning system is diminished. Fortunately, this problem is fixed easily by cleaning the evaporator coil. You can do this on your own or have a professional come in to take care of it.

Signs of a Dirty Evaporator Coil

The most obvious sign of a dirty evaporator coil is an overall drop in system pressure. As long as you know what constitutes a normal pressure for your system, you should be able to tell if the current pressure is below that level. If it is, a dirty evaporator coil is probably your culprit. You can also check the static pressure in your system to see if that is low, but this requires specialized equipment.

Even if you don’t notice any particular signs that your air conditioning system isn’t working properly, it’s a good idea to clean your evaporator coils once a year or so. This can help prevent any larger problems from developing in the future.

Finding Your Coil

Probably the hardest part of cleaning an evaporator coil is reaching it. Unlike your condenser coil, which is located in your outdoor condenser unit, the evaporator coil is found inside near the air handler or furnace. If you have the owner’s manual, there should be detailed instructions telling you where the coil is and how to safely access it.

Alternately, you can have an HVAC technician show you what to do the next time they come out to work on your system. Whatever you do, though, make sure that power to your AC unit is completely shut off before you start working on it. Once you’ve gained access to the coil, use a brush or vacuum attachment to remove any debris or sediment you find there.

The Importance of Maintenance

Cleaning your evaporator coil is only one part of the regular maintenance required to keep your air conditioning system in good working order for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of things you can do on your own, but it pays to have a professional come out once a year or so to check out the entire system and make any necessary repairs.

Save Money with Coupons – HVAC and Plumbing

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

HVAC and plumbing services are not things that you usually think about using coupons for. After all, you almost never call an HVAC specialist or plumber unless there is an emergency, and that means you probably do not have time to go hunting for a coupon. You are going to go with the person who is able to respond quickly and get the job done fast.

But that does not mean you should have to pay too much for emergency or other HVAC and plumbing services. In fact, if you know where to look, you can find coupons for great deals on anything from annual maintenance to full new system installation. Of course, not all of these deals are that great. But even saving a little on each service will add up over time. Plus, gathering up some coupons ahead of time will make it easier for you to choose a good HVAC service or plumber because you can see which one in your area offers the best deals.

So where do you find these great coupons? Well, a lot of them can actually be tracked down online. A simple search for HVAC or plumbing coupons in your area should turn up quite a few results for services you could use now or in the future. Some of these offer quite substantial savings as well, so even if they are for something you do not need at the moment, take a look at the expiration date. Even if you are not sure you will be able to use the coupon in that space of time, there is certainly no harm in holding onto it just in case.

It is also important to remember that you do not need to stay with the same company that installed your system, for instance, if you can find a coupon for great savings on annual maintenance with someone else. Just about every company in this field is well versed in handling all types of HVAC or plumbing equipment and they can easily take care of a system that another company installed.

Particularly if you are not satisfied with the service that you get from the company you are now using, look around for coupons from someone else. That is a great way to figure out which new company is worth a try.