Posts tagged condensing unit

Down the Halls of HVAC

hallsLooking at heating in St Louis near Sunset Hills, we realize that is has been some time since we perused the halls of an HVAC explanation, looking for new details to point out surrounding your system in St Louis.  So, today, we stumble upon the heat exchanger. “The heat exchanger is found inside your furnace unit’s housing. This component switches on when the furnace is activated by thermostat to produce warmer temperatures in winter.” The way it operates is to pull in cool air, then heat it and circulate it by way of your ducts and our through your vents.

The heat exchanger pulls in cool air, heats it, and circulates the resulting heated air via your ducts and out through the vents.  The evaporator coil is another important heating component to understand.  It has, basically, the opposite job of the heat exchanger and it acts to cool the air when the thermostat is set lower and cooler during the summer months.  “Located in a metal enclosure on the furnace’s exterior, to the top or side, the evaporator coil works similarly to an automobile radiator to produce cool air, which is then circulated through the ductwork.”

Now, we move onto the condensing unit of your heating and cooling system in St Louis near Sunset Hills.  Connected to the evaporator coil, the condensing unit is installed by HVAC contractors on the outside of your home and filled with refrigerant gas in order to properly operate. “When the refrigerant has been cooled to a liquid by heat exchange with the exterior air, the condensing unit pumps the liquid to the evaporator coil to be evaporated into a gas once more.”  This leads us to your refrigerant lines which carry the refrigerant substance to the condensing unit vaporized in the form of gas and return it to the evaporator coil in liquid form.  In order to be resistant to temperature, these lines are typically made of copper or aluminum.

HVAC Value Determining Factors

HVAC installationA couple other styles of HVAC, piggybacking off of our previous  commercial HVAC post include some of the most interesting and energy efficient of the specialized systems for your St Louis Commercial HVAC near Kirkwood and your business’ heating and cooling needs.  The next up in our discussion is the CAV, or Constant Air Volume.  This, like the systems described previously on behalf of your St Louis HVAC near Kirkwood MO, is also a single duct air system with constant flow that will adjust according to thermostatic input.  The overall efficiency is somewhat based, as with other commercial systems, on the quality and precision of the thermostat itself.

Moving on, we have the VRF, or variable refrigerant airflow.  Your HVAC install in St Louis near Fenton can best describe this as follows, “A heat-pump system that uses refrigerant as the heating and cooling medium. One condensing unit can serve multiple evaporators to condition the space.”  There is also a heat recovery option that better allows for the evaporators connected to the same condensing unit to be in heating and cooling mode simultaneously. This is a necessity for some commercial settings and St Louis HVAC business needs near Fenton MO.

What do these recovery systems do?  “The heat recovery option allows the evaporators connected to the same condensing unit be in heating and cooling mode at the same time. This reduces the energy consumption required to heat and cool the spaces because less energy is wasted to the outdoors or condenser water loop.”  In the end, for most St Louis HVAC businesses, it is about form and function pitted against cost.  The more efficient and capable, the great the system and its value to the St Louis Business.

Ice Machine Accessories Explained!

ice cubes in machine

When making a decision about the right ice machine for your business, it’s also important to consider the accessories you may need to make the best use of your new equipment.  These accessories will vary in price, but when chosen carefully can give you, your employees, and customers the most-pleasant experience when using the machine.  Today, the Ladue area heating and cooling experts at American Services are here to help explain a few of the most popular accessories used with ice machines and how they work.  Let’s get started!

  • Remote Condensing Unit – When noise levels from your ice machine are of concern, those with an air-cooled ice machine can opt for a Remote Condensing Unit.  This type of unit add-on will reduce noise levels in your customer area, but may require the addition of a refrigeration line set.
  • Storage Bin – Storage bins or ice bins, are used for storing ice until is it ready to be used.  These are a must for anyone who does not use a self-contained unit.
  • Dispenser – In quick service restaurants or other customer-based service environments, adding an ice dispenser allows for ice to be used without hands coming in contact with the remaining stored ice.
  • Bin Adapter – If you are looking to add a larger bin to your machine, or need to add a bin from another manufacturer the use of a bin adapter may be needed.
  • Water Filtration – Better tasting ice makes for better tasting drinks, that’s why the American Services team always suggest the addition of a quality water filtration system.
  • Ice Scoop – To maintain clean, sanitary conditions an ice scoop is a must.
  • Ice Tote or Chest – If you are moving ice from one area to another within your establishment the use of an ice transport tote or ice caddie will be a must.

Contact the American Services team about ordering these ice machine accessories now!

Choosing the Perfect Ice Machine In 4 Easy Steps!

close up ice cubes and stainless ice scoop

Step 1 – Decide what type of ice you will need your commercial ice machine to make. When most think of ice machine needs they only think of the ice applied to drink service, but there are other uses also.  In the restaurant space, ice is also used for salad bars, chilling bottled beer and wine, or for other food-related display purposes. Yet, other commercial establishments use ice including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, office buildings and much more.  Be sure to think of your needs as well as your customer or employee needs when making this decision.

Step 2 – Decide how much ice you will need daily and pick the appropriate sized machine. This is probably the most important decision you will make when choosing your commercial ice machine.  You will need to be sure your machine is sized so that it can produce enough ice for your daily needs and can also keep up with any increase in demand for the near future.  The O’Fallon area refrigeration and ice machine experts at American Services are always eager to help with this part of the decision making process.

Step 3 – Decide between an air-cooled versus water-cooled condenser.  The biggest difference between these two styles of machine is this: Water-Cooled units cut down on noise and can be more reliable in hotter climates; Air-cooled units save on water costs.  Talk to your dealer about the advantages and disadvantages to both before making a final decision.

Step 4 – Decide on what options and accessories you will need for your machine. These add-on’s are important because they will allow you to get the most out of your machine on a daily basis.  Just a few of your choices include: Remote Condensing Unit (for air-cooled machines), storage or ice bins, dispensers, bin adapters, water filtration, scoops, and ice totes or carts.  These can usually be ordered upon the initial installation of your machine or even after you have your machine and find a need for them.

Walk-In Cooler Maintenance Tips!

refrigerator unitIf you are in the restaurant, convenience store, or grocery store business, the walk-in cooler or freezer is a part of your daily life.  Since these units are a big investment, it is important to keep them well-maintained.  Today, let’s take a look at some tips that will ensure you unit is kept in proper running order.

  • Make sure your unit’s door is closed when not being used.  Never leave the door propped open for an extended period of time.  The best practice is to only have the door open when entering or leaving the the walk-in.
  • At least twice a year, you need to be cleaning the evaporator and condensing coil of the unit.  If your coils are outside, it is best to cleans them even more often.
  • Check your fan motors to ensure they are running at optimum speed.
  • Reduce drag by cleaning the fan blades.
  • If your condensing unit is located outside, make sure you keep the area clear so that there is adequate air flow.
  • Make sure airflow isn’t restricted by anything stacked around the coil.
  • The insulation on the suction lines between the condensing unit and the evaporator should be checked for damage or decay on a regular basis and replaced when needed.
  • Don’t let your unit waste energy.  Have a technician check your electrical connections for loose spots on a regular basis.
  • Lubricate all hinges on a yearly basis to ensure the unit is closing properly.

The South County area commercial walk-in refrigeration specialists at American Services hope these tips will get you started on maintaining your units in the best possible way.  If you have any questions, or would like for an expert to take a look at your walk-in cooler or freezer, contact American Services today!

More On HVAC Maintenance

Air conditionerAre you looking for a more detailed list regarding performing routing maintenance on your air conditioning unit?  If so, you’ve joined us on the right day. Here’s your detailed list!

  • Clear debris away from the outside of the unit by removing any leaves or other materials that may have collected.  You can also spray the base of the area with a garden hose to give it a more through clean.
  • Clear debris that has accumulated around the condensing unit.
  • Use coil cleaner to clean your condensing coil.  You’ll need to let the cleaner foam up and then rinse it thoroughly so that all of the coil cleaner is properly removed.
  • Ensure that your condensing fan blade is in balance by running the fan and making sure it isn’t vibrating during use.
  • Change your contactors, test run capacitors, check the amp dray on all of your motors, and inspect all wire connections.
  • Clean the evaporator coil with a garden hose.
  • Replace the air filter.
  • Clear the condensate drain using a wet/dry vac.
  • Check the capillary tubes to ensure they are not chaffing on any of the other parts of the system.
  • Clean or replace any UV lights.
  • Inspect duct work and insulation related to the unit.  Make sure you don’t have any leaks in your duct.
  • Check the amp draw on the compressor, along with the pressures while the compressor is running.

Remember, many of these maintenance items can be performed by the unit owner, but some may fall outside of your comfort zone.  That’s when you need to call the St Louis City HVAC maintenance experts at American Services.  Our team can assist you in keeping your entire HVACR systems in great condition!  Give us a call for a free quote today!

Choose Energy Star Ice Machines for Restaurant Equipment

restaurant equipment ice machine in MOAmerican Services Restaurant Equipment installation service in Ladue knows that automatic commercial ice makers are widely used by food, hotel and patient care providers. The equipment is manufactured selected based on a combination of features that best fit the application that the machines are intended for. Common attributes include ice type, production capacity, ice hardness and clarity, as well as ice form and size. Commercial ice makers can be classified into either of two general equipment types, batch-type and continuous-type. Batch-type ice makers harvest ice with alternating freezing and harvesting periods. Continuous-type ice makers produce ice through a continuous freeze and harvest process and include flake and nugget ice makers.

No matter what type of ice machine is in order, selecting an Energy Star product is a good idea. Air-cooled, batch-type and continuous-type commercial ice makers are all eligible for Energy Star certification. Also eligible are remote condensing units designed for connection to a remote condenser rack. Qualifying models must meet maximum potable water and energy consumption limits to earn the Energy Star. 

Energy Star commercial ice makers can save businesses money on their utility bills. Energy Star certified systems save around 1,200 kWh annually. This translates to $130 per year in electricity bill costs. ENERGY STAR batch-type ice makers are on average 15 percent more energy efficient and 23 percent more water-efficient than other models. For continuous-type ice makers, ENERGY STAR certified machines save around 1,500 kWh annually, or $160 per year of utility charges. 

Energy Star designated commercial ice machines cut down on your daytime electricity demand even further if they are outfitted with a timer. A savvy business-person can then shift ice production to nighttime off-peak hours. Interestingly, bigger ice machines are often more efficient than smaller ones, yet the price difference is usually not very large. Careful selection could yield twice the ice capacity at half the energy cost. For ice machines in Missouri, contact American Services.

Choosing an Industrial Cooling System

industrial cooling in MOWhen it comes to industrial cooling in Saint Louis, American Services knows business owners do have some options.  The type of system you choose depends on the size of the area your are trying to cool, the interior building configuration, the location and other specifics that may be pertinent to your specific space.  

Probably one of the most common systems is referred to as a “split system.”  This sort of implementation is what you would typically find in a residential or small business facility.  The split system has an indoor air handling unit and a condensing unit on the outside.  This type of system has the highest energy rating, but may not work for all implementations.  The split system is also only used for cooling, so an additional heating system solution would be required.  A packaged system is similar to the split system in function, but of course all of the components are contained in one unit, as the name implies.

Another option is a chilled water system, which utilizes coils with liquid kept at a cold temperature.  This cooling of the water takes a separate cooling plant, which adds complexity and potential costs, but can work in some scenarios.  Once again, depending on the space, separate window air conditioning units can be used in certain applications.  Keep in mind that all these options require a separate heating solution 

So what is the best system to use?  The question once again depends on the space you are trying to cool.  Split systems remain a popular choice and can be supplemented with fans, individual units, smart controls and other add ons that can be adapted to the situation.  All of the aforementioned systems have their pros and cons so it is best to call in a professional who can analyze your individual space and the occupants to determine what is best.  Make sure you ask for the energy rating on the systems, warranties and any cost saving measures that can be implemented now or in the future.  That way you can start off with the right system and one that will be there for as long as you need it.


Basics of Air Duct Free HVAC Systems

HVAC air duct systemAmerican Services commercial HVAC service in MO knows that Air duct free systems are a smart way to add air conditioning to multiple rooms without having to perform invasive installations of conventional duct systems. The systems will cost around $1,000 to $2,000 per unit and do an excellent job of cooling. In addition, the sound level is better than a conventional window air conditioning unit.

Air duct free systems, also known as ductless split HVAC systems are a matched combination of an outdoor condensing unit and an indoor fan coil unit by refrigerant tubing and wires. These systems are compact and take up very little space in the room. Additionally, they do not obstruct windows. New designs of ductless split HVAC systems are aesthetically designed to blend with room decor and new technologies with these systems ensure low sound levels.

HVAC air duct free systems are relatively inexpensive compared to modifying existing structure to run conventional air ducting. Specifically, the use of ductless systems are excellent for add-ons to current space or if you have a special space that requires varying environmental controls from the rest of the location. Additionally, if your current system is not able to handle modifications or additions, ductless systems are a viable option.

These type of HVAC systems are now being incorporated into many historical renovations where preserving the look of the original aesthetics in the structure. Requirements set on historical properties typically will not allow structure modifications even though they may have no cooling systems.

When assessing your location, look into a ductless HVAC system as an alternative to conventional methods.

Which Ice Making Machines are Better-Air or Water Cooled?

refrigeration repair services in MOAmerican Services refrigeration services near University City knows that one of the more frequently asked questions from commercial food industry owners is, “What’s the difference between air-cooled & water-cooled ice machines?”… While it may seem as though the answer is self explanatory most owners do not understand the difference or the pros & cons of each.

Air-cooled commercial ice machines are designed with an electric fan that assists in the dissipation of heat generated by the mechanical refrigeration components. However, water-cooled commercial ice machines use water as the cooling agent for mechanical refrigeration by routing the cool water around the components.  Water-cooled machines therefore use significantly more water than air-cooled machines, about 100 gallons per 100-lbs of ice produced, extremely inefficient, and single-pass (use and dump) systems have been banned (deemed environmentally unstable) in many cities across the US.

Air-cooled ice machines are popular throughout the industry primarily because they are considered “green.”  These green systems are more energy efficient than the water-cooled counterparts and have a lower cost of operation. The majority of the air-cooled commercial ice machines on the market today are emblazoned with the “Energy Star label”, for those not familiar with the Energy Star label it is the trusted, government-backed (EPA) symbol awarded for energy efficiency helping the country save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

Researchers are looking into the fact that self contained air-cooled ice machine may produce large amounts of warm air that is emitted into the environment, this typically isn’t regarded as a problem and in most restaurant applications you will never notice the warm air coming from the ice machine condensing unit .

While not as popular or energy efficient, water-cooled ice machines do have a practical use anywhere the surrounding air is above 75degrees-in that case a water-cooled machine may be the better choice.  If the ambient air is above 75°F the air-cooled machine will have a hard time cooling the refrigeration components thereby putting a strain on the system-which in turn decreases the machine’s production and increases wear and tear.