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What Does HVAC Stand For And Why Are They So Important

HVAC Systems are one of the most crucial elements to any home, business or apartment block when it comes to comfort. If you are looking for a way to increase comfort levels while remaining energy efficient, HVAC Systems are the best solution. Over time, the installation of an HVAC system will save you money, will be far more reliable and better for the environment than other types of heating and cooling options for your building.

What Is An HVAC System?

HVAC is the shortened version of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. HVAC systems are complete integrated systems for a building that allow you to heat, cool and ventilate with the use of a single interface or controller.
What Are The Advantages Of Having An HVAC System?

The biggest advantages of having an HVAC system are that you can control the temperatures throughout your building with one controller. You can also have different temperatures throughout the building through zoning options. You could have one room that is 20 degrees different to the room next to it, all from the one control point.

What are the main parts of an HVAC System?

The three main elements of an HVAC System are the heating element, an air conditioning unit and a ventilation system. Modern systems also integrate a cleaning element and an air filtration system as well.

Heating

Heating is typically performed with a furnace or boiler, which will include a piping system that delivers a heated liquid that delivers the heat or a ducted system for forced air HVAC Systems. Often the heating system can be connected to the hot water system of your home, meaning the hot water that comes out of your taps comes from the same source as your HVAC heater.

Cooling

The cooling element of your HVAC system does the opposite of the heating element. It removes the warm air from your home and converts it into cold air through a condenser system.

Ventilation

Ventilation is usually either ducted or forced through a wall unit and can also be natural. Forced air systems are most commonly used in modern systems as they allow the air to become filtered as well.

One of the best ways to save money is by installing the fully integrated system up front that features all the above functions. The outlay will be a little bigger than a standard wall-mounted system, but the benefits are far greater with a fully-integrated HVAC System. Over the course of ten years, the savings you will make on energy use compared to other types of air conditioning or heating systems will pay for the upfront costs three-fold. It makes sense to install a system that does everything from the one function, especially if you are energy conscious.

When you want to know more about HVAC systems, talk to a professional. Our team can help you to find a system that suits your household or business requirements. Get in touch with our friendly team today!

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Signs Of A Reputable HVAC Repair Company

HVAC systems are becoming more popular every year and for a good reason. They are highly effective, energy efficient systems that heat, cool and ventilate your home all year round, for a fraction of what other systems can cost you. Knowing what systems are best for your home or business comes with knowledge and understanding of different types of systems and which ones are better for a specific space. Professional HVAC installation and maintenance companies are plentiful, however, knowing which ones are the best can often be difficult to gage.

A company may supply the best available products however if their maintenance and customers service elements are lacking, then you could be starting the process over again before you even begin. Here are five things you should look for, to know if you have found a reputable HVAC repair company.

Licensed And Insured

Hiring any contractor means that there are chances things can go wrong during installation or repairs, so you need to ensure your repairer or installer is insured. If things go wrong and they are not insured, the costs to fix any problems will most likely end up coming out of your pocket when they are no longer contactable.

It’s important also to make sure they are licensed to carry out the scope of work you need to be performed. HVAC systems are a solid investment for your home, and if a licensed contractor does not install them it could mean that warranties may be void, and you may end up having to cover extra costs you didn’t know about if things go wrong.

Company Vehicles, And Spare Parts On Hand

Although some of the best installers and repair companies work alone and aren’t always in a large team, one way to ensure you have a quality team on board is through their availability of spare parts, and the size of their team.

If you are looking at hiring a larger company, you will want to know they have spare parts on board for your HVAC system when they arrive on site, so your time and money isn’t wasted. Although no company will ever hold ALL spare parts, commonly replaced items should be on hand to ensure they can replace parts with just one visit.

24-Hour On Call Service

Because you can’t tell when your HVAC system will fail, having a company which offers 24 hours a day service may just come in handy in the middle of summer or winter if your system breaks during the night.

Offers You Preventative Maintenance Options

Any reputable company will offer the options of preventative maintenance to ensure your system doesn’t break down. If they suggest your system should be serviced once or twice a year, you know that they are looking out for you to ensure your system doesn’t fail. Preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure your system is not only running when you need it, but it also makes sure it runs efficiently all year round too.

Commercial HVAC Options

Generally, a company which also deals with commercial grade systems will have a very good understanding of home systems. To be confident with larger systems, they will already be confident with smaller systems and will be able to offer great advice and repair without fuss.

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How Long Do HVAC Systems Last?

A heating or cooling system for your home is a serious investment, and when you have a large cash layout for a home upgrade like this, you want to know that it is going to last, and you are going to get your money’s worth.

Typically, a standard HVAC system should last anywhere between 15 and 25 years, some even longer. However, there are a few factors that will change the length of time it will last. The type and brand of your system, and how you maintain it are two very important factors that need to be considered.

Brands That You Can Trust

When you are installing a system in your home, you need to be able to trust that the brand you are installing is of high quality. The best way to know this is either through research or taking advice from a professional installer or asking friends or family who have installed similar systems. The important thing about brands is just because you know the brand, doesn’t mean it’s a good one. This is not to say that all brands are bad, or all brands are good, it just means that you still need to research, to make sure the system will suit your needs, and work efficiently and effectively in your home.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is the most important thing about installing an HVAC system. Like anything with moving parts, it will require regular maintenance, and if you don’t maintain it, you are setting yourself up for a costly future error. You may think that an air conditioning system doesn’t have enough moving parts to maintain regularly, but when you consider what the role of the unit is in your home you may need to think again.

The role of an HVAC system is to alter the air quality in your home. Whether it is to make it warmer or cooler than the current temperature doesn’t matter too much when comparing it to how clean air needs to be circulated through your home to be completely effective. If you have unclean air flowing through your home it can cause health problems, and especially if you have asthmatic family members or anyone in the home who suffers from allergies, regular maintenance is vital for them to maintain good health.

Regular maintenance not only removes and toxins that can cause health issues, it also ensures that any issues within the system itself are tended to before they become too expensive to fix.

How Often Should I Maintain My System to Prolong Its Life?

Standard systems will need maintenance at least once a year even if you don’t use it that often. If you use your system constantly to cool, in summer or heat in winter, you should have the system maintenance performed at the end of each heavy usage season. Mold, mildew, dust and rodent/pest droppings need to be cleaned for the system filters and ducting to ensure a long life is achieved.

Each different type of system requires different types of maintenance so speak to a professional today that can guide you through the process.

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How Do I Know My HVAC Compressor Is Bad?

One of the most common causes for an Air Conditioning unit breaking down is a failing Air Conditioner compressor, which is a part that typically gives a fair warning it is on the brink of failure before it completely breaks down.
Often, however, homeowners don’t usually call in a broken air conditioner until it has completely stopped working. This can cause a lot higher costs to repair it as well, because it may cause other domino effect issues. It’s very important to know when your compressor is beginning to show signs that failure is imminent, meaning you can get it fixed before it’s too late.

Not only can knowing the signs of a wearing compressor save you money but if your compressor happens to stop working in the hottest peak of summer, you will have to suffer through the heat as well.

What Are the Warning Signs?

There are many obvious warning signs that your HVAC compressor might be having issues, however, some are more obvious than others. Your compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system and when it starts having issues the results will be staring you in the face.

HVAC systems are very complex, but here are some of the simple signs that you need to get a professional to come and look at it.

Loud Noises

Noises like ticking, clunking, rumbling, rattling, clicking or squealing are not normal sounds to come from a compressor. In fact, compressors should be quiet 99% of the time. If you turn on your air conditioning unit and you hear any strange noises you have never heard before coming from it, chances are there might be an issue with your compressor. There are many components to a compressor, and different noises mean different things. A clicking noise could mean that the mounts that hold the compressor in place could have failed, making the motor bounce around in the space it should be contained in.

Struggling to Turn On

If your HVAC unit struggles to turn itself on or takes a while, it could also mean the compressor is having issues. There are many reasons this could happen and could be to do with the electrical components like the relay switch that starts the compressor when you turn the unit on.

Moisture Leaks

If you find moisture or water puddles around your Air Conditioning unit, it could mean that you have a refrigerant leak in your compressor. The refrigerant is a gas that cools the air, just like in your fridge, and if the gases leak, it can be harmful to your health and your family’s health. If your compressor is leaking refrigerant, it won’t be very long until it stops working altogether. In this instance, turn it off and call a professional out before you switch it back on again.

Other Ways to Tell

Some other ways to tell if your compressor needs repairs are limited or restricted air flow compared to normal, as well as the unit not cooling the air as it normally would, or warmer air. It’s important that if you notice any issues with your HVAC unit, that you contact a professional who can look at the issues and run regular maintenance on your system, so these types of issues don’t continue to happen.

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5 Major Problems A Dirty HVAC Might Cause in The Workplace

Your HVAC, which is short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is a key element to maintaining a comfortable environment within your workplace, while also ensuring air quality is at optimal levels, preventing illnesses from spreading. Did you know that blocked air filters are the chief cause of cooling and heating system problems; together with the health of your workplace.

Although most businesses don’t have changing the air filters on the HVAC as a lead priority for the running of daily business activities, it is something that simply should not be swept to the side. A healthy HVAC system will have many benefits within your business, and one of those is productivity. For many business owners, changing an air filters are an easily forgettable task, however leaving them too long without servicing can influence your business.

The function of air filters is of course to filter the air that is circulated, heated and cooled within a building. The filter element of your HVAC system accumulates many allergens, pollens, dust and mold spores in a very short amount of time and failing to remove these nasty things from your filters is not a great idea.

Here are 5 major problems a dirty HVAC might cause in the workplace.

Increased Energy Consumption

Dust in your workplace HVAC air filter will restrict air flow, forcing your furnace to work much harder using more energy to heat and cool. As the system relies on constant recirculation of air, the system’s blower can have a big impact on energy consumption.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

During summer, the system’s evaporator (or cooling coil) can freeze up if there is not enough airflow going past the coil. Condensation gathers on the coil, and when there is not enough airflow, it turns into ice, which then reduces the system’s ability to remove heat from your air. Once the coil freezes over, the system will shut down completely.

Inadequate Heating or Cooling

If the filter becomes clogged or too thick with dust or other allergens, the blower fan must work much harder to push air through the filter. Reduced airflow creates hot and cold spots throughout the spaces in your business, and the system won’t be able to accurately heat or cool to the desired temperatures. Your HVAC system will run for longer periods of time with not enough air flowing through because of the dirty air filter, making your energy bills much higher.

Decreased Indoor Air Quality

If your air filter is not filtering because it is too blocked, your air will not be clean. If the filter is clogged it can’t filter the dirt and debris like it should, meaning they stay in the air, and continue to be breathed in and out of your building’s occupant’s lungs. It creates a dangerous situation for asthma sufferers and can spread germs much easier.

Furnace Failure

A clogged air filter can cause your furnace to overheat and fail, meaning it will shut off before the desired temperature is reached. Clogged air filters can also cause the electronic limit switch to fail, and your furnace won’t work at all.

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Things To Consider When Choosing A HVAC

Whether you’re looking to cool down in summer or warm up in winter, a HVAC system has many benefits – provided you choose the right one for your household’s needs.

There are many different types of system and brands on the market and each of these works differently for different size rooms – and at different temperatures. To ensure you get the right system, there are a number of things you should consider when it comes to deciding which HVAC you should buy.

Here are our top 5.

1. The Size of Your Home: The smaller your home, the smaller your system requirements. You want to choose a system that will give you maximum efficiency, with the least amount of energy wastage. If you live in a 4 bedroom, 2 storey home, you’re going to need a system that is a lot bigger than you’d need if you live in a 1 bedroom apartment. It’s pretty simple.

2. How Many Rooms? You also need to think about how many rooms it needs to cover. Do you want a system that simply fills the living area with cold or warm air? Or do you want something that will actually cool the entire home or apartment? A window or wall box system is great if you only want to cover a small area, but if you want to heat or cool multiple rooms, a multi-split system will be more beneficial. Ducted systems on the other hand could be ideal for the entire home (or level if you have more than one storey).

3. Energy Rating: Consider your impact on the environment, and also the cost you’ll pay for running the system. The higher the energy rating, the better your system will be on the environment – and your wallet! If you opt for an older system because it’s cheaper upfront, you’re going to end up paying more in the long term as it won’t be as energy efficient. Look for units that have high SEER, HSPF or AFUE ratings.

4. Noise: Check the manufacturer’s brochure to find out how noisy the machine is. Whether you like the hum of a system to put you to sleep, or if you prefer silent air, there are machines available to suit. Ducted systems are generally a lot more quiet than window systems. But you should do your research and talk to the professionals about which system will be best for you.

5. The size of your system: Having too much heating and cooling will make your system work less efficiently as it will be providing too much air for a small space, stopping and starting more often than it should. And having too little will send your system into overdrive as it works to keep up with demand. You want to choose a size to suit your space.

When it comes to buying a HVAC system, you want to make the right choice from the start. Talking to a professional will help you make a better informed decision – and they’ll also be able to complete the installation for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions About HVAC Installation

Having a high-quality air conditioner is a luxury many home owners enjoy but is also something that anyone who doesn’t have it, wishes they had. When it comes to installation, it’s not at all a simple task. If you are considering an upgrade or buying a new system you more than likely have a lot of questions.

To help you to find a professional air conditioning installation company that suits your needs and requirements in your area, here are the answers to 5 of the most frequently asked questions about air conditioning installations:

What type of air conditioner should I buy?

There are several different types of air conditioning systems used, each working in different ways for different sized rooms, at different temperatures. There are split systems which can control airflow to any area of your home, or single room solutions. You should consider things like the size of the area you want to cool, and the number of people who occupy the space. Working from your budget you can easily find pricing for a system to suit, however there are many other factors, like energy ratings, that will help you to decide what type of air conditioning system is right for you.

Is there a better brand?

It is very easy to become overwhelmed when looking at HVAC systems, as there are just so many options available. The best way to decide which brand is best for you is to contact your local HVAC system specialist for advice and pricing.

Can I install it myself?

Although it is possible to do this type of job yourself, it is not advised. It is always best to hire professionals for installation and maintenance on anything to do with electrical or gas based products, and as HVAC systems involve both, your local professional is only a phone call away.

How often does it need cleaning?

One of the roles of HVAC systems is to eliminate dust particles from the air, which unfortunately means that the filters associated with your air conditioning system should be cleaned regularly. Each home is different and depending on how much you use your system and the surrounding areas of your home, you may need to clean the filters at least once every 3 months, however most systems only require cleaning twice a year. It’s also a good idea to have your air conditioning system fully serviced before summer starts, or winter if you use it for heating.

Should I replace my old HVAC system?

Often when an air conditioner is broken, it can be repaired rather than replaced, however the age of your air conditioning system, the efficiency rating and of course your budget will all need to be taken into consideration before you begin replacing your system. A lot of parts on older air conditioning systems are replaceable, and many with newer, better, and more efficient parts.

If you need to know more about HVAC services, get in touch with our team. We’re experienced and we know HVAC systems like the back of our hand!

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How do I know which HVAC system is right for my home?

Whether you’re choosing an HVAC system for a new build or replacing one in an existing home – there are a few incredibly important aspects to consider when you are shopping for your new unit. So, let’s take a few minutes to talk about what you need to know as you embark on your journey to find the perfect HVAC unit for your home.

The Load

You need to know how small (or large) a unit you need – this is what we are referring to when discussed your home’s load. It’s the capacity that your unit must be in order to keep you comfortable in your own home. So, it will depend on the square footage of your home. However, it goes beyond that. It also takes into account how many rooms will need to be covered, your insulations R value, your doors, windows, and how many floors your home has.

You may want to speak to the professionals about this to get the most accurate calculation possible. Mathematical formulas are used to ensure all variables are taken into account, and while they may now be computerized, the professionals know how to determine the load more precisely than just using generalized responses. If your HVAC unit is too large it will lead to higher bills and it will shorten the lifespan of your equipment as well, as the cycles won’t be accurate.

Your contractor should handle these calculations for you and if they claim that it isn’t needed or they don’t seem particularly interested in doing it – you’re using the wrong contractor. You may find that your local utility provider will carry out a load calculation.

Why Size Matters

In addition to increasing your utility bills, there are other issues regarding an HVAC system that is too large.

The cooling load has two components – the air temperature (or sensible load) and the air’s humidity levels (or latent load). While a large HVAC system will quickly cool (or heat) the air, what it won’t do is manage your humidity levels effectively. So, in turn you alter the temperature level in hopes of achieving the perfect balance and all this leads to is excess moisture, mold growth, and damage (to your home and your HVAC unit).

Yet, when you have the right size unit your home will be comfortable and you won’t need to keep the unit running as long because it will deal with the humidity levels. In all, having the right sized HVAC unit will make you more comfortable, your HVAC system will operate more efficiently, and you will be spending less money on your utility bills.

When you are looking at the efficiency ratings of HVAC systems there are a few ratings to keep your eyes peeled for. If its air conditioning a rating of 16+ SEER is ideal, while for the gas furnace 94% or higher is what you need, a heat pump should be over 9.2+ HSPF. In every case, the higher the number the more efficient your unit is as your unit will require less energy. It is far worse that you end up with an HVAC unit that is too large rather than too small, however, provided you have an accurate load calculation you shouldn’t need to worry about going wrong with the size of your unit.

You should also have your contractor check your ductwork to ensure ducts are in good condition.

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5 Reasons Your Commercial HVAC Needs A Regular Service

A commercial HVAC system has a serious impact on what happens within your building. It isn’t just an important part of your company’s growth, it’s an integral component of the building itself. It makes sense then that you would want to invest in a high-quality system and have it serviced regularly. If you’re not sure why you should plan preventative maintenance services, here are some of the reasons:

It Saves Money

Yes, by putting a maintenance plan in place you are saving yourself money over time. Just think about the cost of calling out a technician when you experience a breakdown or the nightmare that comes from losing your HVAC system for a few hours or even days. It’s a lot like running your car – the longer you leave it the worse the problem gets, thus your costs increase.

Having your HVAC system serviced regularly means the technician can pick up on small problems and prevent them from becoming major issues. It’s just a tune-up to keep your system ticking over and running at optimum efficiency.

Detecting Carbon Monoxide

Part of the regular service is carbon monoxide testing. An HVAC system that is malfunctioning can leak dangerous fumes into the air and if you don’t have it serviced regularly you don’t know when you have a small leak (or a major one, for that matter). Typical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include fatigue, nausea, and headaches.

A Comfortable Environment

When you create a comfortable environment everyone is happier. That means your employees will work more efficiently (and happily), which means a boost to your bottom line. Of course, the same can be said for your clients or customers.

If you operate a retail business then you know how quickly customers race through when a building is too hot or too cold. Similarly, it’s difficult to hold meetings with clients when your HVAC system isn’t getting the job done right.

Regular maintenance will keep your HVAC system working efficiently.

Eradicate Foul Odors

This should come as no surprise – but, when your HVAC system is functioning improperly your air flow and ventilation suffers. As a result, you may find that foul odors linger. You may even find that your ceilings have water stains due to leaks which will eventually lead to a fusty, damp smell in your building. There’s nothing more unprofessional (and annoying to clients, customers, and employees) than a smelly building. It also indicates that you operate your business poorly and don’t uphold strict standards across your business.

Excess Moisture

Getting your humidity levels is important, whether at home or in your business. It’s particularly important for stores and restaurants that stock perishables and food items. Excess moisture can affect the overall temperature of a building and affect the shelf lives of a variety of ambient products. You may find that your items aren’t staying fresh, are molding, and that can be costly.

Of course, excess moisture also affects other types of commercial properties as it can encourage the growth of mold which is a major problem that no one wants to deal with.

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4 Tips For Choosing Energy Efficient HVAC Systems

Are you renovating your home, working on a new build or just shopping for a new HVAC system? These days you can’t afford to choose one that isn’t energy efficient, but it can be challenging when there are so many different options available. No wonder so many homeowners feel intimated as they embark on their journey – the good news is we’ve compiled some tips to help you choose your new energy efficient HVAC system.

The Size Of Your Home

What good is an HVAC system if it doesn’t adequately control the temperature of your home? If your system is too small for the size of your home then it will need to run constantly in an attempt to keep up. Then again, if it’s too large it won’t kick in long enough to manage your home’s humidity levels.

So, your first step in choosing your new energy efficient HVAC system is to know the professionals recommend around 20 BTUs for each square foot of your home.

Fuel Sources

Natural gas is an excellent fuel source for an energy efficient HVAC system, however, not everyone has the option of this. If you’re looking to avoid rising electricity bills then you can always choose a propane or kerosene system. Check with your local utility company to find out whether natural gas is available in your locale. From there you can do more research to determine what fuel source is right for you and your new energy efficient HVAC system.

Rebates

If your HVAC system is outdated then there’s a good chance it stopped operating properly a long time ago. Replacing it with an energy efficient upgrade is a no-brainer because it’s going to save you on utility costs and make your home a much more comfortable temperature all year round. It goes beyond that, though. If you choose natural gas there are distributors who offer rebates for choosing more efficient appliances. You may find that utility companies and government agencies also offer incentives to encourage people to choose more energy efficient HVAC solutions.

Energy Saving Ratings & Features

You can narrow down your choices easily by looking at the ratings. If you want a very good system, keep your eyes peeled for a SEER rating of 16 (or higher). There is also the HSPF rating for heating and 9.2 is the lowest level of efficiency you want if you’re looking to improve your energy efficiency. Additionally, heat pumps and gas furnaces use an AFUE rating and you want to find one with at least 94% rating or higher.

Some systems may have energy-saving features to sway you. They tend to feature on HVAC systems that are already efficient, but it will more than pay you back. There is also the option to zone your home so you can direct your heating or air conditioning to the right areas.

Buying a new unit is the right decision – but getting it wrong could be a disaster for your energy costs and your comfort levels. So, if you’re not sure on what is right for you ask the professionals for a bit of advice and guidance.