What is a Good SEER Rating?

Deciding what type of air conditioner to go with is a tough challenge. With so many different options out there, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. There are many different factors to keep in mind and it is important for everyone to try and find an HVAC unit that can do its job well without breaking the bank on utility bills or maintenance costs. One of the values that people often get held up on is the SEER rating. What does this mean and why is it important? What Does the SEER Rating Mean? People should know that the word SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.” It has also been quoted as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. In order to calculate the SEER rating, the cooling output of the air conditioner during a typical season (which is often the warmer months) is divided by the total amount of energy that it consumes over that time period (measured as Watt-Hours). It is used to figure out how much cooling the air conditioner can do if provided a certain amount of energy. The SEER rating assumes that the indoor temperature is held at a constant value but that the temperature of...

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Does Rain Damage My Heating and Cooling System Over Time?

When the rain starts to pour outside, it is common for homeowners to be concerned about their HVAC systems. Going without a functioning HVAC unit can be unpleasant during any time of year. Therefore, there are a few important points that everyone should keep in mind. Rain Water and HVAC Units Some people may wonder whether or not the rainwater can get into the electrical system and damage some of the wirings. Fortunately, almost every HVAC unit is built with a tough exterior that will prevent rainwater from leaking into the unit itself and harming the electrical wiring, gears, and components inside. If a drop or two leaks into the system, the rushing air throughout the unit should be enough to dry out the rainwater before it causes any problem. If the rainwater starts to get heavier to the point that standing water is starting to pool around the unit, problems could start to develop. Flooding can Damage an HVAC System If the rainwater starts to increase, flooding to the point where water is starting to pool several inches above the ground can start to enter the HVAC unit. This water can damage some of the moving parts and electrical...

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3 Energy Efficiency Air Conditioning Tips

The air conditioner is probably one of the most extensive electrical equipment in many Missourian homes. Continuously running it can make the electricity bills hit the roofs since the unit consumes a tremendous amount of electricity than other appliances. It is worth noting that our air conditioners play a significant role in cooling us during the hot summer season. Saving on utility bills during these natural peak seasons may seem daunting especially if you are an economic-conscious homeowner. However, you still save some dollars with these three energy efficiency tips. 1. Try Super Cooling The concept behind supercooling is to shift the cooling of your home. Supercooling has proved to be a convenient solution to air conditioning bills. It is most useful during hot summers when electricity costs get significantly higher than the average rates. For the idea to work, you need to have studied your electricity usage pattern and have a time-of-use plan. A time-of-use or time-of-day plan provides you with cheaper electricity bills at various hours of the day. To cheaply cool your home, you have to set the thermostat way too low during the night or throughout the low rate period and back up when the rates...

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Can Air Conditioning Cause Sinus Problems?

Air conditioners are great. They help reduce humidity in a room and they filter out dust, pollen, and dust. Even though air conditioners may help make your home more comfortable, they may also lead to sinus infections. The following are some of the reasons why your air conditioner may cause sinus infections. Cold Air Your AC circulates cold air. Cold air may lead to congestion of sinuses. It may also result in a running nose. Cold air may irritate the membranes of our sinuses. It leads to excessive production of mucus and consequently, a running nose. Air conditioners reduce humidity in the air which may also trigger sinus problems. The problem may be especially worse for people who suffer from allergies. To remedy the problem, use air conditioners with clean filters. Change your filters regularly. If your filters are clean and in good working condition, they may help to prevent the occurrence of sinus problems. Spread Of Allergens When circulating air, your AC may also be circulating toxic chemicals, mold, and pollen grains through your home. If you do not perform regular maintenance services on your AC, mold may grow on the coils. Coils and ducts create the perfect environment...

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Do I Need an Air Cleaner?

Air cleaners keep your home cleaner by filtering out mold, dirt, and microscopic pollutants. They remove impurities from the air, so your whole family breathes easier. Air passes through a filter in your HVAC system, where the debris is collected and removed from your home. Typically, an air cleaner is located between the return duct and your AC or furnace, and it keeps dust and debris from building up in your equipment. Reasons You May Need an Air Cleaner You are an animal lover with allergies. If you love animals and have pets, you’re exposed to hair, pet dander and fur due to your close relationship with your little buddies. Many people have or develop allergies to this debris, but an air cleaner filters this dander and other detritus for a cleaner and healthier environment. For families with small children and pets, an air cleaner is an excellent investment for sensitive lungs. Your house doesn’t smell as clean as it should. Sensitivity to smells can be bothersome and make you sick. Unpleasant smells develop in your living area and workspace, but placing an air cleaner strategically helps you eliminate unwanted odor. Asthma and respiratory diseases make you vulnerable to dirty...

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How Can Temperature Affect Your Sleep?

You might be surprised to learn that your brain sets your “internal thermostat” lower at night than it does during the day, which means your body’s ideal temperature is cooler at night than it is the rest of the time. In fact, scientists believe that the ideal sleeping temperature ranges from just 60 – 67 degrees at night versus somewhere around 74 degrees during the day. Why We Sleep Cooler This might be, in part, because your bed and covers retain so much body heat that a 74-degree bedroom quickly becomes much too hot once you crawl into bed. By keeping your room cooler at night, you accommodate the “trapped” heat that results from your mattress, sheets, comforters, and cosleepers (significant other, toddlers, pets, or all three). The Role of a Programmable Thermostat Installing a programmable thermostat makes it easy to maintain multiple different temperatures depending on the time of day. For example, you may choose to conserve energy during your work hours, cool the house down to a comfortable day temperature when you’re home and awake, and cool it further when you go to bed at night. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, don’t fret. You can still...

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Are Expensive Air Conditioning Filters Worth It?

Air conditioning filters filter out many different particles from the air before it flows through the blower of your HVAC unit and goes into your home. These particles include dirt particles, mold spores and dust which can all clog up and severely decrease your HVAC unit’s efficiency. As a result, air flow can be decreased, run times can be increased, energy costs can then also be increased, and the lifespan of your HVAC’s blower can be severely compromised. Higher quality air conditioning filters (those with higher MERV values,) which are more expensive than less efficient air conditioning filters, can filter out many more particulates and particles to help avoid a costly HVAC blower replacement along with poor air quality. What is MERV? MERV refers to Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value which is a rating continuum developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. This scale from 1 to 16 rates air conditioning filters on their ability to trap particulates in the air. Most air conditioning filters have a value of from 1 to 13. HEPA filters which are often used in hospitals have a MERV of 13+. What are the Different Types of Air Conditioning Filters? Spun...

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What is AC Maintenance and Why Do I need it?

AC maintenance involves taking care of the air conditioning system in your home. Mainly, the AC system keeps your home cool during the summer or just anytime you need cooling in your home. It’s essential to maintain the AC system to prevent contamination and health risks to the people living in the building. Maintenance of filters, coils, fins, and the drains should be done at least once in spring so that the air conditioner is ready for use during the summer. It’s important to get a professional to do the maintenance because they have the technical know-how to identify a problem and find solutions. Again, they have the necessary experience to avoid damaging your AC system. Here are some of the reasons why you need to maintain your AC: Increase the lifespan and performance of the AC system Over time, filters and coils get clogged with dirt, which in turn causes them to break down faster than anticipated. In case any part of the system fails, it could cause damage to the entire AC system. Saves money The AC system collects dirt, not only when its running but also when it sits idle throughout the year. Replacing dirty filters and...

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Winter Energy Saving Tips

With the winter weather appearing especially frightful, keeping your family warm and your energy costs down may seem daunting for many Kansas City homeowners. CNN reports that “blasts of Arctic air have brought weather-related deaths, record low temperatures and historic amounts of snowfall to parts of the United States.”  Here are a few simple energy-saving tips to keep the shivers away and your costs down this season. Dial It Down Did you know you can save as much as 10% on heating costs by simply turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for as few as eight hours a day? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this strategy serves as a top savings tip for all homeowners. Escaping Energy Typically, we think of heat escaping from our windows but there are other less obvious sources that impact energy loss. A recent NPR report states more often than not, the big leaks you’ll find in the home causing the biggest energy consumption are hidden in walls,” Sealing up holes with cans of foam and caulk is another way to save. Peak Performance Ongoing maintenance is essential to keep your furnace running at peak performance during the coldest months of the year. Changing your furnace filter on a monthly basis is one...

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