Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ask an HVAC Technician the Right Questions

Posted by: Aurora HVAC Company

Whether you are constructing a new property or plan to renovate your present house, ultimately the question of replacing or installing an HVAC program will come into the equation. Regardless of exactly where you reside, the will need for excellent heating and air conditioning gear is a have to in order to maintain comfortable and clean air levels in your dwelling. That mentioned, when it's time to look at a new program you want the greatest mechanic for the job. Prior to you make that hire and trust your home's ventilation to somebody, ask the critical questions.

Qualifications: How extended has the business been in enterprise? Are they properly certified to deal and resell with certain Aurora HVAC brands, and are they listed with the Better Business Bureau? Are all mechanics operating for the corporation trained, licensed, and bonded?

Equipment: What kind of equipment is used to repair heating and cooling methods? Can they supply components on hand or ought to they be ordered prior to they can work on your project? How considerably time is expected in between diagnosing the difficulty and completing the repair?

Cost: Is the corporation prepared and in a position to itemize all expenses in the bill? Are there discounts readily available to seniors and military? What warranties are attached to components and service, and if one thing should go incorrect will it price to have the difficulties fixed?

The air duct support and heat and A/C are vital components of any residence. In order to reside comfortably it is crucial the HVAC contractor you hire is competent and open to your questions. As you search for the appropriate individual for the job, don't be afraid to ask what's on your mind. If you're thorough, you'll be ready to breathe uncomplicated.

Importance of Servicing Your HVAC System

Posted by: Arvada HVAC Company

It is effortless to take for granted that your HVAC program is running appropriately. You may possibly feel that because you don't notice any instant concern with your furnace or air conditioner that your HVAC system is operating properly. This, on the other hand, might not be the case. Don't put off your annual HVAC inspection and service. Without having the routine pay a visit to by an HVAC service technician, your furnace or air conditioner could lose efficiency and start to operate inefficiently. Challenges that could've otherwise been caught will be allowed to grow and cause damage to your HVAC unit, shortening its lifespan.

The most essential purpose why you need to take measures to have your furnace and air conditioner serviced is for safety. Natural gas and oil HVAC methods burn fossil fuel, which can create dangerous byproducts like carbon monoxide. You surely won't want to risk the health of yourself or your family members by breathing in the poisonous gas, so be certain to have a skilled HVAC service technician carry out the yearly maintenance on your unit. Furthermore, devoid of an annual inspection, your furnace may have a higher danger of sparking a fire. Having your furnace undergo routine service will significantly decrease the likelihood of having a catastrophic accident happen. In most situations, an annual service inspection will permit the HVAC contractor to catch prospective troubles before they take place. They will be in a position to either remedy the issue, or advise you on the ideal course of action to ensure the safety of your family members.

A different advantage to having a licensed technician carry out annual service on your HVAC system is to maintain correct efficiency. When your furnace and air conditioning units are correctly tuned, they run at maximum efficiency. This signifies less power consumption and lower utility bills. The price of annual HVAC service is far less that the quantity of savings you'll get on energy bills when your unit is optimized to run at maximum efficiency.

It is critical for the HVAC technician to check for construct up of dirt and debris inside the furnace and air conditioner, as nicely as inspect the unit to ensure the components are in very good operating condition and are installed properly. Cleaning the HVAC unit will enable it to continue to run smoothly devoid of becoming hindered by soot and dirt that eventually builds up. The Arvada HVAC company will also make certain the vents are clear and all gases are in a position to escape via the vents or chimney.

Taking the measure of having your HVAC program inspected annually will not only save you revenue on your energy bills, but you'll have peace of mind realizing that your family and household are safe from toxic gases. Furthermore, the little expense of having a expert service your unit will save a lot of funds when compared to the price of buying a brand new unit.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth It?

Over thirty percent of the average home's energy expense is committed to heating water. The newest technology in the water heater industry is the tankless water heater. The manufacturers of the gas-fired tankless water heaters claim their products can cut energy costs up 50%. The questions is it time to switch is probably crossing your mind.

Probably not. Gas tankless water heaters, which use high-powered burners to quickly heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger, were 22 percent more energy efficient on average than the gas-fired storage-tank models in our tests. That translates into a savings of around $70 to $80 per year, based on 2008 national energy costs. But because they cost much more than storage water heaters, it can take up to 22 years to break even—longer than the 20-year life of many models. Moreover, our online poll of 1,200 readers revealed wide variations in installation costs, energy savings, and satisfaction.

With the help of an outside lab, we pitted Takagi and Noritz gas-fired tankless water heaters against three storage water heaters. We didn't test electric tankless heaters because many can't deliver hot water fast enough to replace a conventional water heater if ground­water is cold. Even in areas with warm groundwater, most homeowners would need to upgrade their electrical service to power a whole-house tankless model.

Our tests simulated daily use of 76 to 78 gallons of hot water. That's the equivalent of taking three showers, washing one laun­dry load, running the dishwasher once (six cycles), and turning on the faucet nine times, for a total of 19 draws. While that's considered heavy use compared with the standard Department of Energy test, we think it more accurately represents an average family's habits. We also ran more than 45,000 gallons of very hard water through a tanked model and a Rinnai tankless model to simulate about 11 years of regular use.

Here's what else we found:

Water runs hot and cold
Manufacturers of tankless water heaters are fond of touting their products' ability to provide an endless amount of hot water. But inconsistent water temperatures were a common complaint among our poll respondents. When you turn on the faucet, tankless models feed in some cold water to gauge how big a temperature rise is needed. If there's cool water lingering in your pipes, you'll receive a momentary "cold-water sandwich" between the old and new hot water. And a tankless water heater's burner might not ignite when you try to get just a trickle of hot water for, say, shaving.

Nor do tankless water heaters deliver hot water instantaneously. It takes time to heat the water to the target temperature, and just like storage water heaters, any cold water in the pipes needs to be pushed out. And tankless models' electric controls mean you'll also lose hot water during a power outage.

Up-front costs are high
The tankless water heaters we tested cost $800 to $1,150, compared with $300 to $480 for the regular storage-tank types. Tankless models need electrical outlets for their fan and electronics, upgraded gas pipes, and a new ventilation system. That can bring average installation costs to $1,200, compared with $300 for storage-tank models.

Tankless units might need more care
During our long-term testing, an indicator on the tankless model warned of scale buildup. We paid $334 for special valves and a plumber to flush out the water heater with vinegar. Many industry pros recommend that tankless models be serviced once a year by a qualified technician. Calcium buildup can decrease efficiency, restrict water flow, and damage tankless models. Experts suggest installing a water softener if your water hardness is above 11 grains per gallon. Ignoring this advice can shorten your warranty.

Efficient storage models are pricey
We also tested the $1,400 Vertex, a high-efficiency storage water heater by A.O. Smith. The manufacturer claims its installation costs are similar to a regular storage model. But its high cost offsets much of the roughly $70 per year the Vertex will save you. Instead, we recommend buying a conventional storage water heater with a 9- or 12-year warranty. In previous tests, we found that those models generally had thicker insulation, bigger burners or larger heating elements, and better corrosion-fighting metal rods called anodes.

Speak to someone who specializes in HVAC in Denver about their thoughts and finding on tankless water heaters. They might have more of an insight to how they run, the cost as well as the pricing.

Article Source: http://www.consumerreports.org

Tankless Water Heater Ratings

Posted by: Denver Heating

With our tankless water heater ratings, you can cut through all of the sales hype and find value. We have researched the brands from every part of the world and using our years of hvac industry service experience provided our unique system of ratings. It truly is like taking a repairman with you while you shop!

We have given each brand a rating of from 1* to 5*. A rating of 5* means that, if we were shopping for our own home, that is the brand we would choose (if it was available). When more than one brand is available with a 5* rating, we would choose the least expensive brand. When an NA appears in the place of a rating, it means that the brand does not have a model available in that group or there was insufficient information to fairly rate it.

We have rated both whole house and point of use tankless water heaters. For an accurate comparison, we have divided the whole house units into three groups based on the fuel they use to heat the water.

If you are looking for a unit for your shower, you can compare brands on our electric shower ratings page. For more information on water heaters, check out the site HVAC in Denver.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Helpful HVAC Marketing Tips

Written by: Michael Whitmann

Are you looking for some simple HVAC marketing tips that will improve and increase your business? Maybe you're looking for ways to maximize the visibility of your services to potential customers in your area. Then you might want to consider a few different marketing tactics that you can use via the internet. Here are some possible ideas to consider. Search engine optimization or SEO for short, using social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising on the search engines. Below are additional details of how these can help your business.

Using Search Engine Optimization, or SEO is one of the most effective, and economical ways to gain new customers when executed correctly. When using SEO you are getting your company information listed in sites such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This is the information that comes up in the results pages, when you type in a keyword or phrase. Unlike having to pay for each potential customer that visits your company website through Pay-Per-Click advertising, you're able to gain potential customers by creating useful content that provides critical information that clients are looking for.

Using social media marketing lets your company participate, and enter into conversations that are occurring in real time, within your area. Sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and others, have millions of users all talking about one subject or another. Being the go to resource when people have a problem or question about their A/C in your local area should be the goal.

Pay-Per-Click or PPC for short is paid advertising on the search engines, and a fast track to getting your company information seen. Your information will be found by those using the internet as a way of finding Denver HVAC companies in your area. The beauty of PPC is that unlike the yellow pages for example, you can advertise your business when you want, and whatever hours you want. This gives you tremendous control over your advertising dollars.

These HVAC marketing tips should give you a basic strategy when it comes to increasing your company's customer base, and expanding your brand awareness.

Mike is a marketing expert and has many helpful articles so that you can get all the benefits of his experience with SEO and HVAC Marketing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Whitmann

How To Start A HVAC Career

Written by: John Murphy

Choosing a HVAC college program

When choosing a HVAC college program, the first thing that you must ascertain is that the college you have selected is an accredited one. This is an extremely important factor, since it means that the training imparted will be at par with the standards specified by HVAC organizations. The most prominent accrediting agencies for HVAC programs are the National Center for Construction Education and Research, the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration, HVAC Excellence, North American Technician Excellence and Research, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Select a college that has at least one accreditation.

Smaller class sizes are also important, which means you will get personalized attention from the instructors. A good HVAC college will also have an on-campus science lab with professional-grade tools. Visit the campus and get a feel of the place, the classroom, the facilities and talk to the faculty, if possible. Also find out whether they allow any flexibility in scheduling classes for working students, and how you should go about procuring financial aid, if required.

HVAC Colleges

These are just a few of the many HVAC training centers that you will find all over the United States: New England Institute of Technology in Palm Beach, Ferris State University in Michigan, Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the Refrigeration School in Phoenix, Arizona, Brownson Technical School in Anaheim, California, the Northwest HVAC Training Center in Spokane, Washington, and the National Capital Chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America in Maryland.

You must have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to enroll for a HVAC training program, along with sound math and science skills. College programs usually last from two to four years, and depending on the type of course you select, you will be awarded a certificate, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in HVAC.

You will also find a number of community colleges and vocational or technical schools where you can sign up for short-term programs, which last for six months to two years. If you do not have the time to attend college fulltime, you can still get your HVAC training, thanks to online courses. Do make sure that the college is an accredited one.

Once you have successfully completed the HVAC course, the next step is searching for available HVAC jobs in your area. Your college will have campus interviews or will help you with leads for suitable openings in the industry. HVAC employers include HVAC manufacturers, HVAC service companies, HVAC companies, property management companies, mechanical engineering firms, HVAC wholesale suppliers, building owners and many more.

What an HVAC Company Can do For You

Most individuals will have the need for HVAC services at some point. However, most people do not know this as they do not understand the types of services offered by Denver HVAC companies. Find out the typical factors that you would require to get in touch with such companies.

Your nearby HVAC companies is normally the best location to call if you will need an air conditioning unit installed. Whether you just want a little one particular that attaches to your window or desire central air for your total home, this sort of business can install it. Maybe you currently have a unit but require a replacement portion to get it working again. This variety of service is normally supplied by professionals near you, so begin calling around before you attempt to fix it on your own.

The exact same goes for heating units, as an HVAC company generally is in a position to install a heater or furnace for your entire home. If you already have central heating, you may well discover that you will need repairs or replacement components occasionally. This is specifically true if you reside in a cold region that demands you to run the heater nearly all the time. Most reputable companies even offer emergency repairs because the lack of a heater can be risky to homeowners, and may possibly even trigger pipes to freeze and burst if not taken care of quick.

Most people wait until eventually a part on their air conditioner or heater breaks to call their local HVAC companies. Even so, this can be fairly expensive given that components and labor are generally a lot of money. This is why it might be wise to obtain maintenance companies instead of waiting until eventually you require a main restore. Numerous businesses supply tune-ups on your unit, specially at the start of summer time and winter. This can help you conserve on utility bills considering that your program will be running at its most efficient, and can also let you know when replacement parts might be required soon so that you can commence saving cash rather than becoming bombarded with significant restore expenses at one particular time.

The greatest way to prevent significant repairs or sudden breakdowns on critical equipment, this kind of as air conditioners and heating models, is to stay in contact with your nearby HVAC company can conserve you some funds, and can also decrease the anxiety and discomfort that comes with having a broken cooling or heating unit.

When looking for a Denver HVAC company, there are several exceptional options available. Utilizing this assistance your decision can be made in an informed, inexpensive manner.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Questions for your HVAC Company

Posted by: Denver Heating

Knowing the right questions to ask when you schedule a Denver furnace repair can make all of the difference in the quality of the work that you receive. Opening up a phone book, closing your eyes, and pointing won’t get you the kind of quality service that your furnace needs. Choosing a contractor can be a difficult task because there are so many companies that don’t really care about servicing the customer. All they care about is the bottom line. Remember these questions the next time you call a service company, and you will be able to discover which companies measure up and which ones fall flat on their promises.

Q- What kind of response time do you offer?
A- When picking your Denver HVAC company, you want to find a company that can deliver when you need them the most. Many companies make promises of quick response times, but in the end their idea of quick service is often very different from what you expected. Some companies may just put your name on a list and never actually show up.

Denver Heating and Air Conditioning is different. We are available around the clock, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. We guarantee a 2 hour response time when you call in, and when we say we will be somewhere we are, and we will arrive on time.

Q- How do you charge for labor?
A- It seems like every HVAC company has their own formula for determining how much they will charge their customers for labor. They may charge on price for the first hour and then a different price from the following hours, and when the work is done, suddenly all of these extra fees appear on top of the cost of the repairs. How are you going to figure out what you are going to be charged?

Denver Heating doesn’t mess around with complicated labor equations. Instead, the price they quote is the price you pay. Day or night, Four Seasons does not increase their prices because they came out after a certain hour or on a certain day. The service technician from Four Seasons will determine the cost of the repair and write it up for the customer to agree upon. Once the repair is finished, you pay the price that was agreed upon before the work was done even if it took longer than expected.

Q- Do you guarantee your work?
A- There are far too many Denver HVAC companies that do not warranty their work. Furnace repairs can be very costly depending on what goes wrong with your system, and the last thing you want to do is spend loads of money on work that isn’t guaranteed. When a company doesn’t offer a significant guarantee with their work, you can assume that they are just out for your money, and they can care less if they actually get the furnace to run.

With Denver Heating you won’t have this problem. Denver Heating stands behinds its work with their 100% satisfaction guarantee, and that doesn’t just apply to furnace repair. Any service you have done by Denver Heating is guaranteed, and we want you to be satisfied with the work performed no matter what. Also, the parts and labor performed on your unit will have a specific warranty depending on what you are having done. Make sure to ask our technicians what kind of warranty comes with the parts on your unit, and we are sure that you will be very pleased with what we offer.

Q- Do you use subcontractors?
A- Many heating and air conditioning companies will hire outside subcontractors to complete the jobs that they are hired for. When a company uses this practice, you will never know what kind of technician you are getting in your home. Also, these companies will often leave you hanging in the event that the subcontractor makes a mistake.

A Four Seasons technician actually works for Denver Heating. They wear our uniforms and drive our trucks, and we make sure that they are either NATE or EPA certified. They have to pass our quality standards before they are ever allowed to service a customer’s home. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen, but when they do, you can have confidence that Denver Heating will stand behind their 100% satisfaction guarantee and not rest until the job is done right.

In this ruff economy, you need to know that your money is being spent right when you need a furnace repair. You don’t want to waist it on a contractor who is really just a scam artist. Take control of the situation and be an educated consumer. Ask these questions before you schedule your appointment and you will find a reliable company. Denver Heating and Air Conditioning can proudly say that they have answers to each and every one of these questions and more. Trust Four Seasons with your furnace, and we guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Soldering as a HVAC Repair Method

The big payday on HVAC jobs is when you get to replace a whole system. However there are many simple fixes, both temporary and permanent that can be used to save customers a great deal of money. One of these is soldering metal.

One of the first things that hvacr techs learn about soldering is that you cannot solder copper pipe with water still in the pipe. Before any repairs can start, the pipe needs to be drained, closed and dried. This causes problems because sometimes if there are multiple leaks say in a water cooling system, water might keep migrating down as you try and repair the pipe.

Fortunately there are a few tricks to try and work around this problem. One is called the bread trick. Take some white bread without the crust and stuff it into the pipe above the area you need to solder. This only works for very slow leaks, but it is effective because the bread swells as it absorbs water. Once water pressure is restored, the bread will dissolve. However you may need to remove strainers along the system.

The more technical method that I have seen HVAC in Denver workers use are pipe freezing machines. This freezes the pipe and its contents solid so that it can be cut. This is much more expensive and uses highly specific equipment, however it works perfectly, unlike the jerry rigged bread method. Just be careful to only freeze the area you are working on. Freezing the whole pipe can cause it to burst.

When working on pipes that contain coolant, Denver air conditioning technicians use different technology called brazing. Brazing uses oxyacetylene for refrigeration. Instead of lead, use silver soldering. Silver chemically binds with copper to make a leak free joint. The oxyacetylene torches are used to heat the whole pipe up to above five thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Of course this means you need to use the proper safety equipment for these kinds of torches. This especially means a welding mask to save your eyesight.

To properly braze, you need to clean the pipe. Once it sets it should be solid. The inner and outer joints need flux applied before heat. The torch should not heat the solder. Instead evenly heat the pipe so that the solder makes a uniform fit. Use just enough solder for a tight fit. Too much and it could break up and foul up equipment. The final step is to perform a pressure test. Apply soap to the outside of the pipe and look for bubbles indicating an improper seal. Once pressure is applied, any drop indicates a leak.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Electrically Ignited Pilots in Furnaces

Standing pilot lights are quickly becoming obsolete. A standing pilot light presents fire and carbon monoxide dangers along with wasting gas. Electrical furnace starters are now standard on all high efficiency Denver heaters. With electric ignition, your furnace only uses energy when it needs it. This by itself can increase your SEER rating significantly.

The really modern systems light the burners directly. This is called hot surface furnace ignition. This means that when the thermostat calls for heat, a hot igniter above the burners heats up and then ignites the gas when it is released. Other models electrically ignite a pilot whenever heat is needed. Not only furnaces, but any kind of heater using gas flame can benefit from electronic ignition. Denver HVAC companies install electric ignition systems in boilers and water heaters as well.

An important part of the ignition system is proving the pilot or burner flame is lit. The whole system fails if the solid state controls do not know if the burner is on or not. The fail safe will shut down the system if the sensors do not sense a flame. This is because it is dangerous to leave the flame burning without regulation. It is also to prevent the heater from spewing un-ignited gas into the building. If you smell gas or your furnace has shut off unexpectedly, call a Denver furnace repairs company immediately.

Often the flame sensor is just fowled with residue and once cleaned by a HVAC tech it will operate normally. However this system is still much more reliable than a standing pilot furnace. These pilot lights blow out and need to be re-lighted manually. This defeats the purpose of the pilot being lit all the time.

Along with electronic ignition, two other ways to get the most out of your heating fuel are to get air handlers with built in induction blowers, and condensing heat exchangers. The blower forces air into the combustion chamber, which aids in both combustion and exhaust of gases. The condenser is an additional heat exchanger that takes the heat out of the water vapor byproduct of natural gas combustion. These devices save energy and also increase the air quality of the home.

Monday, August 23, 2010

HVAC Ductwork Insulation and Maintenance

Your HVAC ductwork is the series of tubes that carry treated air around the building. If you are installing a new central air or heat pump system in your house, you should make sure the ductwork that will carry your new high efficiency air conditioner is up to par with the system. As all the air flows through these ducts, any leaks or problems will ruin the effect of the whole system.

When installing or diagnosing a system for Denver HVAC repairs, a good technician will inspect all the ducts. First off he is looking to see if the existing duct system will match the new air handler that was installed. This will also show if there are any leaks or other problems. Finally, ducts should be insulated and routed in a certain way to maintain safety. This process is called checking for ductwork integrity.

The average residential HVAC system has some leakage. So you can get just as much cost saving some times in fixing the ducts as buying a new high efficiency system. If 20% of the air is leaking, then the system will have to work harder. This leads to higher bills and possible Denver furnace repairs. So do not feel shy to ask the HVAC tech to check the integrity of the ducts. It is their job after all.

In some locations your HVACR system needs special consideration. In wet areas or flood plains, the duct work needs to be water tight. After a flood, you will probably need to replace the insulation, but if the ducts were not sealed you might have to replace the ducts as well as any parts that were damaged by infiltrating water. A water tight duct is also obviously air tight.

To maintain the efficiency of this well sealed ductwork, your Denver HVAC company will install insulation around it. The insulation also serves to protect the inside of your home from the temperature variations caused by hot or cool air flowing. At these temperature change points moisture tends to accumulate. As water saturated air below the dew point gets in contact with warm beams, then it will sweat. This ruins the ducts and can cause mold and mildew problems. To counteract this make sure there is a vapor barrier between the treated air and the outside.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

HVAC Economizers

air conditioning services denver
HVAC economizers are called DDC systems in industry parlance. DDC stands for Direct Digital Control, basically computerized controls of HVAC air handlers instead of using mechanical systems to control the use of the air handler and other components. Computer technology has been able to provide dramatic energy savings for years, but the real advance recently is the ease of use for air conditioning services Denver technicians.

Instead of being pre-installed at the factory, now your HVAC technician can modify the DDC settings on site. This is a powerful new tool for Denver HVAC companies because they can customize air handler use or program zone control by site. Economizers do need extra ductwork and equipment to maximize their efficiency. One way economizers do this is by using outside air for heating or cooling when the conditions are right. When the outside air is at a temperature compatible with your comfort settings, there is no reason to use mechanical heating or cooling to do extra work.

Commercial building codes in Colorado require a certain amount of air to be circulated through the building every hour. There is no need to treat the excess air needed beyond the heating requirements. The dampers that control this excess air are often inadequate compared to digital economizers. If not calibrated after installation, these dampers often malfunction to the point that the building owners disable the devices within a year.

A common economizer in furnaces uses the heat from exhaust flue gases to make full use of boiler energy. These units are not overly complicated but it might be easier to use a specialty furnaces services Denver company for these kinds of installations or repairs. The economizer digital controls should work directly with the HVAC control system. These new digital units spit out charts and graphs of performance and can be monitored remotely.

In order for the DDC economizer to do its job correctly, it needs inputs, or information gathering sources so it can see how the HVAC system and the interior of the building are operating. One sensor should be a CO2 sensor inside the building. This allows the air handler to decide when to operate without an air damper. When C02 is at safe levels, the system will re-condition the air, significantly saving energy venting cooled air outside. The sensor is built to override everything else for safety. Two more sensors should gather outside air temperature and humidity. One way the unit can maintain good indoor air quality is to keep the building at slight pressure. This stops air infiltration which can lead to unwanted moisture or pollutants in the building.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Programmable Thermostats and Zone Control

Programmable thermostats have taken the HVAC community by a storm with their ability to significantly reduce energy use when the air conditioning blower is not needed. The next big step in thermostat technology is zone control, where you can not only program the system to turn on and off, but you can set what areas turn on and off and what areas need what kind of ventilation. The technology basically breaks up the house into a bunch of independent interconnected units that each receive special attention from the thermostat.

Why this step has not been taken yet by most HVAC companies is a mystery to some professionals. On Denver air conditioning services company employee explained it like this:
"We already turn off our lights when we leave the room and close the vents to unused rooms, so why cant we apply simple cost saving features to AC, which costs many times more than lighting?"

With computer technology, a simple thermostat makes zoning much more advanced than just on/off. HVAC zone technology can make significant changes to areas that were previously hot or cold spots. This allows a much smaller and more efficient exterior unit to evenly heat a building that would have previously cost much more.

The zone control technology is just as easy to install as traditional Denver HVAC systems, but the number of manufacturers is still small. The two most popular brands right now for zone control are Arzel zone control and Bryant Evolution. One way these brands deliver energy saving is through longer cooling and heating cycles. Each time your unit cycles on and off there is a significant energy waste. The compressor fan has to run at an increased speed to make up for the time it was off. Zone thermostat systems try and maintain a lower compressor speed, targeted at the houses needs for a longer time. Reduced cycling is also much better at maintaining consistent interior temperature.

For a new building, installing programmable zone thermostats does not require much different other than using new ducts. For retrofitting old units, your Denver HVAC company will have to install dampers inside the existing ducts. These dampers redirect airflow to parts of the building that are not used. The actual work required to install the dampers is not much harder than a routine duct cleaning.

The effectiveness of a these new technologies can be enhanced with new geothermal heat pump products. The evolution of combined ventilation technology has reduced the overall consumption of HVAC units in the US by more than half in the last 20 years, while improving comfort and air quality.

The Failure of "Building Star"

After the success of the Energy Star system, some political pundits were pushing for the concept to be expanded to other areas of the US market. The Energy Star system awards electrical appliances that use significantly less energy with a government sponsored distinction notifying consumers of its environment and cost-saving abilities. The role of government in stimulating green businesses has been well established, so new legislation offering federal government incentives for well built buildings had a good chance of being a positive influence, although traditionally building codes were regulated on the state and local level.

Unfortunately, the HVAC industry works off lower paid employees, and the most recent legislative push to establish a "Building Star" system included regulations that made it mandatory to pay construction workers according to federal wage requirements. This legislation could not get the approval of the largest air conditioning trade group: the Air Conditioning Contractors of America because of these wage requirements. For example, many Denver air conditioning companies use immigrant or illegal labor. Without the support of these Denver HVAC companies and the ACCA as a whole, the legislation was doomed to fail.

The Building Star Energy Efficiency Act, as it was to be called would not only reward buildings that comply with the act with official designation, but also offer tax rebates as an incentive.

Some of the special features that a building would have to display to receive loans and rebates included: Mechanical Insulation, Advanced Exterior Lighting, and Envelope and Roof Insulation. These options, as well as incentives for new furnaces, variable speed compressors and heat pumps were popular with Denver air conditioner companies because they include technologies that they are already pushing on customers.

The real deal breaker turned out to be the government wage regulations. Although the Davis-Bacon requirements only require contractors to pay the "prevailing wage," contractors argued that the increase in labor costs would hamper job creation and make the certification much less appealing to most HVAC companies.

Heat Pump Repair Mysteries

HVAC technicians must go through a significant amount of training before they are certified by their state board to work on your air conditioner. However sometimes there are customers with problems with their HVAC systems that can only be figured out with step by step deductive reasoning... and sometimes a little luck. Modern AC units are less finicky than the old ones, but they also incorporate new technology that many Denver air conditioning services companies are not familiar with.

Heat pump technology in particular has advanced quite a lot recently. While the actual operation of a heat pump is simpler than an air conditioner, one in particular required a Denver HVAC technician friend of mine a long time unravel. The unit, a R-410A heat pump was installed and operating fine in the first year. Then summer began and the owner switched the unit over to cooling. It worked fine, but after a few days the owner noticed that the fan never turned off.

Now most experienced air conditioner techs would assume this was one of two things - a minor fault in the thermostat, or damaged compressor electronics. However, as the heat increased, the unit never turned off and the house did not cool down. So of course the owner calls her nearest Denver heating company.

This is the point where the tech must take all the evidence into account in order to investigate. Of course most AC techs do not view this job as a murder mystery, but the use of logical steps that need to be taken in order to figure out the problem are similar.

The first thing he notices is that it is hot. The interior is almost 90 degrees and the compressor is obviously not wicking any moisture out of the air. However at the compressor suction inlet, the temperature is 70 degrees, and 60 degrees at the outlet.

Our technician had to review the key facts: The unit worked fine in the summer. The blower fan did not shut off once switched to cooling. In many heat pumps there is a emergency back-up electric heating system. It is possible the heat pump never worked, because of moisture in the cooling lines or for whatever reason. During the winter, the unit may have used back up heating the whole time without the owner's knowledge. At this stage it is all speculation, because the problem could only be that the filter is clogged or that the compressor is dirty.

However it turns out that with 410A coolant systems, using older lines or synthetic oil cooling will clog the system. The technician used a systematic approach using the heat pump manual and his training. In the end our furnace repair hero had to drain the coolant and install new piping in the compressor.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Energy Star Air Conditioning

The Energy Star label is a federal recognition of products that are more efficient in energy use than the average product in that category. Energy star is credited with being a driving force behind significant reductions in home energy use since its inception. HVAC Energy Star equipment has been especially effective because of new technologies and the fact that about half of domestic energy use in the US is used for heating and cooling.

On average, these goverment labled air conditioning products use about 1/5 less energy than other models. Depending on the size of the home, this can result in energy savings into the thousands. These units also contribute to America's goal of reduced emissions. Less energy used reduces pollution and energy demand, and therefore energy prices. Of course you will not see the benefits of an efficient air conditioning system without proper installation with sealed ducts.

Energy star has come under some criticism recently over certifying some products that were blatant energy wasters, however some standards still exist. Portable units are not eligible for Energy Star rating. Portable units are considered temporary cooling and are not yet covered under any federal standard. Denver HVAC companies often push for more efficient units because they cool better and the cheaper bills make for happier customers.

Something that is covered by the Energy Star act because it is much more efficient are integrated air source heat pumps. These heat pumps have two sets of coils, interior and exterior; heat pump works by taking advantage of the difference in temperature between the coils. For example,
air conditioning in Denver is less efficient than a heat pump. Despite popular belief, heat pumps can provide the ventilation aspect of HVAC as well, with dehumidifying and air quality control functions.

In order to take full advantage of energy saving HVAC equipment, you will need to know a few mind-bending acronyms. The first is the HSPF or heating seasonal performance factor. This measures one year's estimated worth of energy output for a unit. This is measured in Btu or British thermal units per amount of energy consumed in watt hours. These tests must meet the Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute or AHRI test guidelines. EER, energy efficiency ratio is similar to SEER but on a shorter term. It measures instantaneous cooling ability divided by the energy use in watts.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Starting Up Your AC in the Summer

After the long winter, being too zealous about starting up the AC can actually lead to AC problems. Let me let you in on a secret, as a 5-year Denver HVAC mechanic: Refrigerant is not needed unless there is already serious damage to the central heating system. I get called to recharge refrigerators and air conditioning units every spring, but in reality, the refrigerant is in a closed loop and cannot leak unless there is damage to system components. Modern air conditioning appliances should not require maintenance. Regular checking and filling of refrigerant increases the likelihood of refrigerant contamination and therefore further damage down the line.
So one thing the average consumer can do before calling an expensive Denver HVAC service company is to start up the central air unit themselves, checking for any problems. This will outline air conditioner startup and common warning signs that you have a faulty AC part.

First turn off the breakers to both the furnace and central air unit. They should be on separate breakers. For safety, before disassembling or servicing any type of machine that is plugged in, turn the power off.

Remove the cover of the furnace or compressor and vacuum the whole area, making especially sure that there are not foreign parts in the fan blades. Then replace a filter with the same one your Denver HVAC technician. Spin the fan with your hand and listen for any cracks or rumbling which may indicate a failed bearing. If you can correctly identify the problem, it can make it much cheaper for a furnace repair company to fix it. Oil the motor and compressor bearings if they have an oil port.
Bearing problems are cheap and easier to fix than replacing an entire compressor.

With the power still off, clean dust and debris from the outdoor unit's electric wiring. Then spray household cleaner on the coil and rinse it off with a hose. Coils are fragile, but will not work properly if clogged with foreign material.
The compressor in the outside unit is very similar to the furnace blower. Check the outside unit fan the same way, checking for cracks or gaps in the fan and fan housing. Then oil the motor and then you are finished with the outside unit.

Then turn back on the power on a warm day to test the system's pressure. Listen for strange sounds then let the system run for a while.
Then check all the air vents in your home. Air vents should be open to let the system to run ventilation at rated pressure.

Many closed vents may increase pressure in the open ones, but this is bad for the air conditioner. Sometimes cooling problems are a result of the return vent and not the ac vents.
Next is a visual check of the outside unit. The unit should blow warm air and have two lines coming out of it. The small line should be warm or room temperature and the large one should be cool. If you have a outside thermometer you can check the temperature differential between the intake air and the air blown out of the furnace. The temperature difference on a well maintained Denver air conditioning unit should be around 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fixing Ice Buildup on A/C Units

Ice buildup is an especially nasty problem that can lead to total HVAC system failure. Refrigerants are built to evaporate and condense millions of times over their life cycle, but solidification ruins the system. Especially in the cold of Denver air conditioning companies need to be careful about ice buildup. Especially around unfinished replacement windows, temperature changes can wreak havoc on A/C units. Water vapor is a contaminant in a refrigerant system. All vapor must be eliminated before refrigerant can be added to your central air conditioner. To remove water vapor, Denver HVAC technicians reduce the system pressure to vent vapor and contaminants.

When a HVAC contractor sees a system with excessive water vapor, they may use an alternate method to evacuate the excess water. The multiple evacuation method is only employed by professional Denver HVACR contractors. This method is more effective because three evacuations are run simultaneously with nitrogen to dissipate water vapor.

A step by step guide to the triple evacuation system for air conditioning repair follows.

Attach hoses from manifold gage to low and high sides of the HVAC system.

Connect two hoses to the manifold center port by installing a T-joint.

Attach a vacuum hose to the center T-port and the vacuum pump. Make sure to add an isolation valve if it is not built into the pump.

Use the other side of the T junction to attach a hose to a nitrogen tank.

Use a vacuum gauge attached far away from the pump to monitor your progress.

Open all manifold valves and the vacuum pump. Keep the pressure of the system normal until you open the nitrogen tank.

Turn on the vacuum an run it until the pressure is below 1000 microns.

Close the vacuum pump valve and turn off the pump.

Introduce nitrogen by opening the valve until the pressure manifold shows 5 inches of mercury.

Then shut the nitrogen tank and wait for the nitrogen to mix with the water vapor.

Start the pump again and vacuum out everything until it is at the previous vacuum pressure.

Repeat until there is no more water vapor.

The Refrigeration Cycle

Refrigeration works by mechanically circulating refrigerant through a evaporation and condensation cycle. Low temperatures and pressures encourage evaporation, while condensation occurs in areas if high temperature and pressure. One side of the loop is inside an area of low temperature like a refrigerator, and one side is on the outside air. This two sided design of the loop allows the transfer of heat.

As a basic overview of the mechanics, as the low pressure liquid refrigerant expands at the evaporator inlet, it absorbs heat and evaporates into a low pressure gas. The compressor then pumps the gas through an accumulator which builds pressure for discharge into the condenser.

The accumulator protects the compressor from trying to pump solid or liquid freon. All Denver HVAC systems should come with an accumulator to protect air conditioning compressor life. Compressors are the most commonly ordered part by Denver air conditioning companies. Compressors are especially susceptible to varying load conditions and frequent compressor on/off cycling.

Condensers remove heat from the gas until it condenses back into a high pressure liquid. Some optional parts common in a Denver air conditioner are drain valves, heat exchangers, and liquid line valves.

The expansion device is between the condenser and evaporator. A liquid line strainer should be installed before this part to prevent problems from the buildup of dirt or moisture. The pressure between these valves is maintained by thermal expansion. As the refrigerant liquid is sucked into the evaporator, its pressure drops and the liquid absorbs heat as it expands and evaporates.

Once the desired interior temperature is reached, the thermostat sends a signal to the central air conditioning or refrigeration unit to shut down. The system turns back on when rising heat in the evaporator enlivens the circuit..

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Commercial Refrigerant Phase-Out

Smart commercial HVAC contractors are paying attention to how the phase out of HCFCs will effect their equipment and businesses. Colorado laws are even stricter than most national regulations. This means Denver HVAC and heating and air conditioner repair companies should consider the many applications that currently use R-22 refrigerant that will be phased out. Supermarket refrigerator cases, and walk in freezers, ice cream machines, and vending machines are just some opportunities that Denver HVAC companies should pay attention to. All of these locations are examples of places that will some day need new non HCFC refrigerant.

There are several alternatives to R-22 endorsed by the EPA, although they have varying levels of effectiveness. Each alternative has different end-uses they are most effective in. A good HVAC company needs to consider what alternative to use and how these alternatives may effect existing refrigeration equipment. Air conditioning repair in Denver needs to take into account the area's needs. HCFC production will be halved this year, 2010. This significant production reduction may create a giant supply shortfall. One thing contractors can do is increase unit efficiency by reducing leak rates. Better recovery practices can reduce the need for Denver A/C repair.

Commercial refrigerant replacements have a their own performance positives and negatives. One major problem is the interaction between mineral oil and these refrigerants. Most places will need new equipment married to a specific refrigerant replacement. Equipment owners should be notified of changes in performance caused by these sealants. The complexity of the new systems means that it the responsibility of the Denver air conditioning services contractor to educate themselves so they can inform customers. Then customers should have a review of equipment that does not meet new EPA standards.

For large scale refrigerant refilling, it is important to have a plan in place for replacement. This is a good opportunity for HVAC contractors to show their clients their wisdom and show how they are indispensable. A complete refit needs to condiser reducing leak rates, total equipment replacement or overhaul, and recovery and recycling programs.

Denver HVAC Industry, rising from recession

The Denver HVAC industry is coming back from the recession. Commercial real estate and is starting to move again, and that means large-scale HVAC jobs in Denver. The Denver HVAC industry tends to lag behind the general contractor economy. However the tight credit market is making it hard to invest in large contracts. The heating and air conditioning industry may take over a year to catch up two the economy. However with the economy recovering this is the prime time to invest. Consumer financing can help with the recovery of the business.

Recently, the turndown rates for financing have been high, according to some Denver HVAC contractors. Financing for large scale projects needs to go through before the industry goes back to just furnace repair and air conditioning parts in Denver.

As inventory goes down, the lag time for the industry catch up goes down too. It may require some investment to push units out of the warehouse. Contractors are wary of stocking up too much on HVAC in Denver. On the other hand, you do not want to run out of air conditioning parts in the middle of summer. Otherwise the industry can get into a cycle of the self-fulfilling prophecy as production steps down as inventory falls right in the middle of summer, when air conditioning service is most needed.

For the green industry, the Denver HVAC certification system is a fortress of strength among the economy. The eco focus in Colorado is not going to stop. Denver furnace repair companies are switching from simple repairs to complete energy saving refits. In a slowdown, green technologies are marketed as a way to save money. Going into green cooling, energy efficiency, and eco centric living are a good way to market HVAC.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Performance HVAC boilers

HVAC in Denver
Boilers are one of the oldest forms of heating. For large commercial HVAC heating, boilers are still one of the best options available. The heat generated by boilers is also reported to be pleasant. A boiler brings an even heat unlike the drafty heat of a heat pump. Many powerful Denver HVAC systems use boilers for even heating across large stores, warehouses or hotels. Gas and oil boilers are available. There is little difference in performance from different heat sources, as a boiler is just a pressure system for heating water and transferring that heat. There are many different options for boilers; there are low and high pressure systems, steam and hot water, but all use a system to loop warm water for heat. Boiler repair is relatively advanced work, so be sure to use a qualified Denver furnace repair company. High performance HVAC boilers usually use steam which uses its own pressure to circulate heat in the system.

Boiler control systems have evolved over time. Older Colorado buildings used a dry fired boiler which is dangerous if the water is not kept at correct levels. More advanced digital control and staging systems are used in advanced HVAC systems. Residential boilers use just an aqua-stat, while commercial boilers use complex local controls built into the system.
Multi-Boiler staging uses several boilers according to demand. Cast iron boilers with solid state controls are good choices that measure the change in energy and adjust boiler use accordingly.
Modulating Control limits fuel use by demand.
An older system rarely used on high performance Denver HVAC is simple on-off boiler fire control.
Step up/down systems are slightly more advanced in that they control furnace levels.
Another way to modify firing is through oxygen trim control. This uses a flue to trim excess air when the boiler is not operating full blast.
Excess air regulation control is like a supercharger that maintains a positive air flow for maximum combustion.
More advanced controls combine air and fuel limiters to add safety and increase fuel efficiency when stepping up or down on heating.
Drum level control makes dry fire systems a little safer by monitoring drum water levels.

Consult both the boiler manufacturer and your local HVAC contractor to determine which controls are appropriate for you.

All boilers need a reliable water source. This may be connected to the city system or a dedicated well pump. It is important to maintain a steady water supply to keep boiler water levels at safe limits. Hot water boiler systems need the system to be full of water. Steam systems need t regulate water so there is only steam in the mains, not water. In a cold city like Denver HVAC systems should have a ball valve between the water source and the boiler to stop major leaks.
Colorado code requires all HVAC systems to have a back flow preventer keep the water supply from being contaminated by the boiler. A pressure reducer valve is also needed to make sure the heating system does not fail over a certain PSI. If you are worried that your system is not safe, consider calling in a Denver heating repair contractor to inspect your HVAC for safety and local regulations.

Geothermal Heat Pump Overview

Denver HVAC
A heat pump is basically an air conditioning unit that can both cool when it is hot and heat in cold weather. Geothermal heat pumps are common for HVAC in Denver because it uses a series of closed loop water pipes in the home's foundation, structure or buried underground. These water pipes facilitate heat exchange and work well in basements. Air heat pumps are configured differently. They usually use electric or gas for back up heating. A damaged heat pump may be harder to repair, so make sure you use a trusted Denver furnace repair shop to get it back into working order.

Just as a refrigerator gets hot on the outside as it draws heat out of the cool inside, a heat pump is a giant refrigerator. When it is hot outside, the pump moves heat from the inside to the outside. A normal air conditioner moves heat in one direction, from the inside out, while a heat pump works both ways depending on the temperature and thermostat settings.

Geothermal heat pumps are very popular in Colorado because they use natural heat from the earth. Geothermal systems are very efficient because they take the stable temperature of the earth to work off heat exchange. This stable constant makes it work better than an air to air heat ecxchange. However, you will need to make an investment to have a geothermal pump. A geothermal pump costs thousands of dollars more than an air pump, so consult a Denver heating and air contractor to see what would be most effective for your home or business. The geothermal system is much cheaper to operate and, will last longer. This is good for Colorado businesses trying for that "green" moniker. Some pumps even provide hot water.

Geothermal pumps come in an open and closed loop designs. The system uses two wells and a pump to pull water from the dump and feeder well. Check with a Colorado HVAC contractor to see if this system will work. A horizontal closed loop system has piping buried several feet below the ground. The heat exchange happens between the piping and the ground. Vertical closed loop systems are good for areas with limited land available, like in a city. Holes are drilled in the earth more than a hundred feet deep. Pipes are filled into the holes. In Denver HVAC contractors will not use closed loop systems because it is hard to drill through the granite rocks. The pipes are connected at the bottom of the holes with a U-bend. Some closed loop systems use a pond or lake with pipes buried deep for heat exchange. Water based heat pumps can even use a water tower and boiler. Water temperature can be maintained at a comfortable warm temperature while still providing heating and cooling.

Monday, May 3, 2010

HVAC Maintenance Help

Posted by Denver HVAC Info

HVAC media filters affect the overall conditions of the HVAC systems in your home. For you to get the best performance from the heating and air conditioning equipment installed in your home, check your filters regularly.

Filters for your heating and cooling systems are important because they prevent contaminants from entering the air flow in our air conditioning units. This ensures that the air we breathe in our home is clean and fresh.

Good indoor air quality will make your HVAC units more energy-efficient. We have to optimize the use of our heating and air conditioning units so that we can save on our utility bills.

In these difficult economic times, the money you save from energy costs can be reduced by decreasing your energy consumption. Utility costs are not the only bills we can effectively take care of with well-maintained heating and cooling systems. Potential operating costs and repairs are also avoided if you have heating and cooling systems checked regularly.

When you have your HVAC units monitored by professionals, the media filters of your equipment needs to be checked too. If they need to be replaced, then it is good to do so to prevent spending on more costly repairs. Make sure that you get the right size filters for the heating and air conditioning units you have. They must be compatible with your HVAC equipment for better systems handling.

Maintenance for heating and air conditioning units is important because we want to prolong the lifetime of the equipment we use to create a comfortable and healthy living environment. Our heating and cooling units are efficient when they are clean and at their peak condition

Technical Writer, creates articles for SEO purposes, HVAC Vancouver

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Pamela_S_Quan

Monday, March 22, 2010

5 Simple Tips That Can Lower Your Energy Bills and Extend the Life of Your System

Posted by: Denver Heating

HVAC maintenance is an essential part of home ownership. By maintaining your unit, you will dramatically improve its' efficiency, save on utility costs and avoid potential breakdowns. Make sure that you turn off the electrical breakers to your HVAC whenever you are doing maintenance.

Periodic maintenance will also dramatically extend the life of your unit. So here are a few tips for thing that you should check to make sure your system is working correctly.

Change Your Filters

One of the most cost effective steps that you can take is to change your filters on a regular basis. Your filters are designed to remove dirt and allergens from the air circulating in your home. By changing them on a regular basis you can keep the air in your home cleaner for you and your family.

But changing filters will also help your HVAC system work better and experience fewer mechanical problems. Over time, as the filter removes more debris from your home's air, it becomes clogged and works less efficiently. This not only puts more strain on your system but also wastes utilities.

Check Your Fan

As it operates, the fan that circulates the air can become loose due to vibration. Whenever you change your filters check the fan to make sure that it is solidly placed. If the bolts that hold it in place are loosened it allows the fan to move and that slackens the fan belt.

Check Your Fan Belt

Fan belts are one of the pieces that are constantly moving in your furnace. Check them every time you change your filter to see if they are becoming worn and need replacing. If they are shiny it can indicate that the belt is sliding on the pulley and has stretched or loosened enough that it no longer has a tight fit.

Clean The Fan Blades

Check and vacuum the blower area. Also make sure to use a brush or rag to wipe of the fan blades. Dust and dirt build-up on the fan blades can lead to extra strain on the motor and even throw your fan out of balance.

Oil The Fan Motor

Putting a few drops on the blower motor can keep it running smoothly. However, some newer motors are sealed and don't require oil so make sure that you check with your HVAC maintenance person about whether or not you need to oil the motor.

Once A Year

Every year it is important that you have a HVAC maintenance professional check your HVAC unit. If it is a combination heater/cooler unit having it checked at the change of seasons is a good idea. You should also check various components including the air filters, belt, the air ducts, and the fan controls. If appropriate, also inspect your burner flame.


By taking good care of your HVAC unit you will get a longer life out of it and lower overall maintenance costs. Just like anything else that requires regular maintenance, waiting until it is broken will only up the expense of fixing it. Make sure that you do regular HVAC maintenance and you'll be much less likely to be sitting in the heat one hot night with a broken air conditioner trying to find someone who can fix it.

HVAC contractors in Birmingham AL can help maintain, repair, and install all of your hvac, air conditioning and heating systems. To learn more visit, http://www.birminghamhvac.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Wein