Maintain Your Air Conditioning Unit the Right Way

Filters, coils, and fins need regular maintenance for an air conditioner to function well. Neglecting this promises poor performance and will unfortunately cause a steady increase in energy use. Here are ways to help improve your comfort and the efficiency of your air conditioner.

Air Conditioning, Humidity, and Your Body

The weather can wreak havoc on our bodies, especially during extreme temperatures. Sometimes, the weather isn’t simply hot but humid as well. This means that the air is dense with water vapor, which makes everything seem heavy, sticky, and muggy. This just aggravates the body when your sweat can’t evaporate to cool you off.

Heating and Air Conditioning System Problems in Winter

Texas doesn’t have the same problems in winter as more northern states do, but it’s still subject to low temperatures in the winter. As the leading provider of heating and air conditioning service in the area, we recommend paying close attention to your HVAC system during this season. The cold months are some of the busiest times of the year for your system, so you need to understand and prepare for some common HVAC problems. Read more

Benefits of Changing the Heating and Air Conditioning Filter

As the leading heating and air conditioning service in our local area, Advent Air Conditioning recommends investing in preventive maintenance for your HVAC system. Regular professional maintenance can prevent small issues with your system from becoming big problems. The maintenance will also counteract the effects of wear and tear and ensure that your system delivers efficient and worry-free performance. Read more

Is Variable Speed Air Conditioning Right for Me?

The Basics Of Variable Speed Technology

Conventional motors in an air handler (the part of your air-conditioning system that moves air through the ducts in your home) are only capable of running at full speed. Even if the motor doesn’t need to run that hard to cool your home, it will. This means that it is always using the maximum amount of energy to function.

Variable speed motors are a recent innovation in air conditioners. As the name suggests, these motors are capable of running at a variety of speeds and not just at the highest setting. This allows them to run using far less energy than the old-style motors.

The Basic Benefit Of Variable Speed Motors

Of course, the biggest benefit of variable speed motors is their increased energy efficiency. Running a fan motor at full speed requires eight times as much energy as running it at half speed. Unlike a conventional motor, a variable speed motor can take advantage of the lower energy cost of running at slower speeds. A fan running at half speed uses the same energy in eight hours as the same fan running at full speed for one hour.

When the homeowner only wants the house to be a few degrees cooler, a variable speed motor will run at less than full speed. This allows it to keep the home comfortable with less energy expenditure. If a major change in temperature is required, then and only then will the fan use the energy necessary to run at its highest speed.

Another upgrade that makes variable speed motor air conditioners more efficient is an upgrade to the circuitry. In older systems with conventional motors, the fan and the evaporator coil will shut down at the same time, even though the coil is still cold. A new air conditioning system will shut down the evaporator coil first, but keep the fan running for a while longer to get the maximum amount of cool air from the energy used to cool the coil.

Other Benefits Of Variable Speed Motors

Aside from being more energy efficient, variable speed motors have a few other benefits over conventional motors. Variable speed motors offer increased comfort and fewer distractions than older motors offer. Unlike the other motors, variable speed motors start slowly and pick up speed, making it very quiet and almost unnoticeable. These new systems also gradually build up to blowing air of the desired temperature, rather than suddenly starting to blow hot or cold air.

Variable speed motors can drastically increase a home’s air quality. One of the most critical factors to ensuring healthy air quality is keeping air moving to keep it from becoming stagnant. Conventional speed motors use up a lot of energy as long as the fan is running, so they cannot practically be left on continuously. However, variable speed motors can be set to the “Fan On” setting and will run at a low speed with extremely little energy used. This keeps the air circulating and raises air quality considerably.

The only downside to variable speed motors is that they cost a little more than traditional motors cost. However, their more-efficient use of energy means they will pay for themselves in short order. If you would like to learn more about this innovation in air conditioning, please contact Advent Air Conditioning Inc. today.

Great Moments in the History of Air Conditioning

Think about how terrible it would be if we had to return to using ice and a fan to stay cool. Thankfully we have this amazing invention called an air conditioner. When was the last time you had your AC serviced? We recommend you have your AC looked at a certified tech at least once a year, if your in need of a service, please give us a call today.

Great Moments in the History of Air Conditioning Stats

Air Conditioner Summer Usage: Affordably Staying Cool

The summer time can be pretty hard on your air conditioning unit if. It has to work pretty hard sometimes and your bills can add up rather quickly. There’s a few things you can to do keep your home cool and save money on your summer time cooling costs.

Regular Maintenance

First thing to do if you haven’t already is call and have some seasonal service or maintenance done. Regularly scheduled maintenance will keep your air conditioning unit operating at the same efficiency rating as when you bought it. Without service it’s very easy for the unit to lose up to 5% efficiency every year. Which is pretty staggering. That high efficiency unit you just purchased a few years ago can be functioning as well as a budget model with only moderate efficiency ratings.

Program Your Thermostat

During the summer you’re going to want to operate your air conditioner in the best way possible for the season. What that means is programming your thermostat, or setting the temperature before you leave for work, so that the temperature is higher when no one is home. And when you are home, try and keep it above 78*, which is where it will operate most efficiently. Instead of cranking the temperature down, make sure to use your ceiling fans. That will help keep your house cool and you feeling cool, with a slightly higher temperature setting.

Make sure that you keep any heat sources away from the thermostat, too. So that table lamp, or direct sunlight, are things that you want to keep away from it if you can. They will skew the temperature readings and having your air conditioner running more than it needs to.

Filters

You will also want to make sure to replace your filters on schedule according to what the manufacturer recommends. A dirty filter can greatly hamper the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, and if it gets bad enough, actually make it malfunction.

Staying Cool

The outside components of your AC system want to be cool, too. So if you have a split system, try and keep the condenser coil in the shade. That will help keep the metal components at lower temperatures which will have it operating much more efficiently.

With just a few steps you can extend the life of your AC system, stay cool, and keep your bills low. For more tips on saving money and preventative maintenance, make sure to follow the Advent Air Conditioning blog and don’t hesitate to give us a call for service today!

Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Business

Increasing your building’s energy efficiency can lower your monthly utility costs, which keeps more of your hard-earned money in your pocket. Almost half of the energy use in the nation comes from commercial buildings, and these buildings use about 30 percent of their energy inefficiently. By taking measures to reduce your business’s energy usage, you can make a large dent in lowering your outgoing expenses.

Improving Energy Efficiency in Cooling and Ventilation Systems

  • Choose Energy Star for new cooling and ventilation systems and roofing materials.
  • Install ceiling fans for at least a four-degree drop in temperature in the summer months.
  • Insulate your water heaters as well as supply pipes.
  • Install wall and ceiling insulation, which will save on utility costs and make employees more comfortable.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature and to make adjusting the settings easy.
  • Allow workers to wear comfortable clothes in the summer in order to reduce the level of air conditioning.
  • Keep freight and exterior doors closed when not in use.
  • For windows that face south and west, install solar screens, window film or awning.
  • Replace the filter on your cooling and ventilation system regularly, and keep up with scheduled maintenance.

Improving Energy Efficiency for Office Equipment

  • Turn off computers and other office equipment when not in use, particularly overnight and over the weekends. This practice can save about $44 per year for each computer.
  • Buy office equipment with an Energy Star logo.
  • Have computers set to automatically power down or sleep when not in use for a specific amount of time.
  • Unplug phone chargers and laptops when not in use.
  • Use a power strip for equipment that uses energy even when it’s turned off, in order to easily turn off the power strip.
  • Get a “smart strip,” which sense when equipment isn’t in use and shuts it off.

Improving Energy Efficiency for Refrigeration and Food Service Equipment

  • Reduce heat loss by keeping pots covered.
  • Load cooking equipment fully in order to use energy efficiently.
  • Choose the right icemaker for your business to reduce wasted energy.
  • Place insulated night covers over display cases.
  • Install strip curtains and automatic door-closers for walk-in freezers and coolers.
  • Check oven door latches for a secure fit in order to reduce heat loss, and ensure that gaskets are still in good condition.
  • Get insulated cooking equipment to keep heat from escaping into the room.
  • Invest in regular maintenance for your evaporator coils in order to keep them clean, and check levels of refrigerant and oil.

Your HVAC specialist can offer even more suggestions for reducing the energy usage in your building, as well as perform routine maintenance in order to ensure your heating and cooling equipment is working properly. Keeping up with scheduled cleanings and inspections will reduce the cost of your monthly utility bill.

 

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Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a Furnace or Air Conditioner

In most climates neither heating nor air conditioning can be considered optional. Once you suffer a permanent breakdown you will need to act quickly to purchase replacement equipment.

But you should proceed with caution. When shopping for HVAC systems and contractors there are pitfalls you must be careful to avoid, and if you take a casual approach to the process you may end up holding the bag—and it’ll be an empty bag because all of your money will be gone.

What are these pitfalls, you ask? Let’s look at a few…

Buying equipment of the same size and capacity as your old equipment

If you’ve done any type of remodeling, changed your insulation, added heat-generating appliances or altered your exterior landscaping to include more or less shading or wind protection, your heating and cooling needs may have changed.

To get an estimate of your true needs, ask any HVAC contractor you’re considering to send a technician to your home to perform a heating and cooling load analysis, which will establish an accurate baseline to guide your selection of equipment.

Ignoring SEER ratings

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, which is used to measure the heating and cooling capacity of your furnace or air conditioner. A unit that carries a 16 SEER rating is considered highly energy-efficient and will produce energy at half the cost of an older model with an estimated SEER of 8.

A high-efficiency furnace or air conditioner will cost more. But for an additional investment of $500 you might get $200 of extra savings in energy costs each and every year, for the entire life span of your new system. That’s nothing to sneeze at, obviously.

Missing out on opportunities for rebates or financing

All reputable companies offer good financing options and will connect you with manufacturer rebates, some of which can be quite generous. In addition states offer dozens of rebates for the purchase of appliances that promote energy-efficiency, which you can investigate for yourself at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency website.

Falling for the pitch of an unreliable HVAC contractor

Most HVAC companies are reputable, but you still have to be careful. Before hiring any contractor, check online to see if they are registered with the Better Business Bureau, or if any complaints have been filed against them with that organization. Read any online reviews you can find, and ask around to see if anyone you know has done business with that company in the past.

Be sure any company you consider employs trained, certified technicians, only sells equipment from manufacturers with excellent reputations and is willing to give you a firm deadline for completion of the installation.

Failing to ask about a maintenance plan

These plans are frequently offered by HVAC contractors. Technicians will be regularly dispatched, at no cost, to perform inspections and routine maintenance procedures, including cleanings and tune-ups. Maintenance plans also offer discounts on parts, equipment and service calls, which can keep your costs down significantly if something should go wrong in the future.

Advent Air Delivers the Goods

If you live in Lewisville of the Dallas-Fort Worth area and need to update your HVAC system, please contact Advent Air Conditioning Inc. right away. We’ll give you super-competitive estimates on equipment and installation, and we offer maintenance plans and financing options among many generous benefits.

When you need a high-quality HVAC contractor you can always trust Advent Air—our impeccable reputation speaks for itself.
Please continue to follow our blog for HVAC maintenance tips and technology updates.

How to Control Dry Air in Your Home

As the weather gets colder the air inside your home will get drier and drier. This is something we tend to take for granted even though it may annoy us to no end.

But dry air is actually more trouble than most people realize. You should see it as an unwanted and uninvited guest in your home, and the sooner you can get rid of it the better off your whole family will be.

Dry Air Side Effects

When the humidity is high you tend to feel warmer. Conversely when it is low you tend to feel cooler, and when the air inside your home lacks moisture you may have to turn your thermostat up a couple of extra degrees to find comfort. This results in higher-than-necessary electricity or gas bills, to the tune of about a four percent increase for each additional degree of heat your HVAC system is asked to produce.

But the problems caused by dry air go well beyond financial. When the interior humidity level declines the state of your health may decline right along with it.

Some of the negative health effects of extremely dry air include:

  • Lowered immune system functioning that leaves you more susceptible to colds and the flu.
  • Increased likelihood of asthma attacks in response to respiratory distress and infection.
  • Chronic dryness of the nose, eyes and throat, accompanied by soreness and itching.
  • Dry and scaly skin on the hands and feet, which can crack and lead to the development of painful open wounds.

This is all pretty unpleasant and all linked to continuous exposure to drier-than-normal indoor air.

In addition to the effect it has on your body dry air can also damage the body of your home. Floors, walls and ceilings may develop cracks in their wooden surfaces and the flaking and peeling of painted surfaces may escalate when dryness runs out of control.

And you know those shocks you get from static electricity, which builds up in the dry air and discharges when you touch a physical object or other person? In some instances those shocks can be potent enough to damage sensitive (and expensive) electronic equipment.

Dryness Be Gone!

One of the best ways to re-humidify your home during the winter time (or during any season if you live in a desert climate) is to add a whole-home humidifier to your HVAC network.

When a whole-home humidifier is up and running dry air has no place to hide. As long as your home is relatively airtight you should have no trouble maintaining indoor moisture levels to your liking, possibly with the assistance of digital thermostats that tie into whole-home humidifiers and can turn them on and off in accordance with pre-determined settings.

Whole-home humidifiers do require an additional financial investment, but are likely to pay for themselves in relatively short order through reduced energy consumption and fewer trips to the family doctor.

Dry Air is Preventable, Not Inevitable

Dry indoor air is not a trivial concern. It is a problem to be eliminated with all due haste, before your family is forced to suffer even further from its unpleasant and costly effects.

Please hit the subscribe button and continue to follow the Adventair Blog for more valuable indoor climate maintenance tips.