Skip to main content

HVAC Take One

HVAC Take One

take oneWe like to bring you all the latest news in the world of HVAC on behalf of your St Louis HVAC sales and service near O’Fallon MO, but sometimes it is important to reevaluate the information you share and attempt to cover more of the basics for those in your audience who may be unaware.  So, today, we will look at the basics of St Louis MO HVAC and hopefully help our readers get on the same page before we start covering more advanced details in our future posts.

Most homes are heated and cooled through a central, whole-home, Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning system (HVAC). The HVAC may well be one of the most expensive and energy hungry systems in the home, so the more you know about your HVAC, the better off you will be, especially if you act on what you know. A well-informed homeowner will save money and have a healthier, more comfortable home indeed.

When you hear people refer to St Louis HVAC near O’Fallon as split, this is a real thing and is due to the following, “Central HVAC systems are often called ‘split’ systems because some of the components are installed inside the home and some of the components are installed outside a home. Inside your home, usually installed in the basement, attic, or a closet, you’ll find the furnace (oil, gas, or electric) and the evaporator portion of the air-conditioner. You’ll also find the blower (sometimes called an air handler), which serves both the furnace and the air-conditioner. Attached to the blower are ducts, which are tubes acting as pathways to deliver heated or cooled air to various rooms in the house.”  Furthermore, the AC (or heat pump)has a condenser/compressor involved in its functioning, according to your HVAC sales and service in St Louis and it is typically installed outside the home, while the furnace, the evaporator and the blower are installed inside the home’s St Louis HVAC near O’Fallon MO.

 

HVAC Breakdown

HVAC Breakdown

nitty grittyMost homes, businesses and offices are heated and cooled through a central, whole-building, Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning system (HVAC). The HVAC may well be one of the most expensive and energy hungry systems in the home or office, so the more you know about your HVAC, the better. A well-informed homeowner or business owner will save money and have a healthier, more comfortable home or office, so we are here to help fill you in on some of the HVAC details on behalf of your Heating and Cooling Maintenance in St Louis near Fenton MO.

There are several components in which to consider in your St Louis heating and cooling system. Central HVAC systems are often called “split” systems because some of the components are installed inside the home and some of the components are installed outside a home. Inside your home, usually installed in the basement, attic, or a closet, you’ll find the furnace (oil, gas, or electric) and the evaporator portion of the air-conditioner. “You’ll also find the blower (sometimes called an air handler), which serves both the furnace and the air-conditioner. Attached to the blower are ducts, which are tubes acting as pathways to deliver heated or cooled air to various rooms in the house.”  The more you know about the structure of your St Louis Heating and Cooling system, the more likely you are to handle things that come up, whether it be in a do-it-yourself fashion or through the help of a commercial HVAC company such as your St Louis Cooling sales and service near Fenton MO.

The air-conditioner’s (or heat pump’s) condenser/compressor unit is installed outside the home or office in all cases. The furnace, evaporator, and blower are installed inside the home or office in each scenario. You will not have a separate furnace for an HVAC with a heat pump, just FYI.  As we fully explain the components of HVAC in St Louis, you will want to stay tuned here for further details, both simple and complex.

 

HVAC Components

HVAC Components

lock and key“An efficient HVAC system is important to the comfort of your family throughout the seasons of the year, because this climate control device is responsible for Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning your home.” On behalf of your HVAC in St Louis near Ladue MO, we will be scrutinizing the different elements of an HVAC system to learn more about how they tie into the whole system and what each of the essential components brings to the table.

We will start with the thermostat in your St Louis HVAC near Ladue. “The thermostat is usually the most visible part of your HVAC system. Set on a prominent, easily accessible wall, it may be either programmed in advance or set manually to keep the home at a desired temperature.” When the ambient temperature becomes too cold or too hot and fails to match that which is set on the wall, the thermostat will trigger the heat exchanger or the evaporator coil-condensing unit combo to begin circulating warmed or cooled air as needed in order to bring the house up to or down to the desired temperature.

Moving on to the furnace, we discover the key component of your HVAC in St Louis MO. It’s also the largest, and therefore requires the most space.  It is often times in the cellar, your finished basement, the attic, or a special closet designed for the purpose of housing your St Louis HVAC near Ladue.  Its function is to heat a supply of air which is to be distributed to various rooms of your home via the HVAC. “This heating process is accomplished using one of four possible heat sources — combustion (burning natural gas, oil, coal, or propane), electric resistance, heat pump, or solar energy collected on site.”  We will pick up next time, looking at the heat exchanger, along with the other components of your HVAC system in St Louis near Ladue MO.

Cooling Technology Advancements

Cooling Technology Advancements

technologyOn behalf of your Cooling Sales in St Louis near Kirkwood, we want to continue a discussion that we began when analyzing HVAC service and sales.  It is focused on the latest technology in the industry and it brings us to the next in line, sensor enhanced ventilation in the world of St Louis heating and cooling near Kirkwood MO.

“Each year, several products debut at technology expos all across the country, and 2015 was the year of the Ecovent. This ingenious product consists of sensor-driven vents that replace a home’s existing ceiling, wall, or floor vents.”  One of the coolest aspect of this Ecovent is how it can be controlled.   A smartphone app can control the Ecovent, by offering precise temperature control from one room to the next.  This particular system in St Louis heating and cooling sales also uses sensors to keep track of your home’s temp, air pressure, and other indoor air quality factors as well. “Even though this system design is brand new, it’s been well tested and has already hit the market. Therefore, this is one piece of technology you can take advantage of today.”

Dual-Fuel Heat Pumps are yet another segway into discussions centered around the newest technology that you will find in the St Louis Industrial Cooling business near Kirkwood.  It was a US company that came up with this concept.  And, the premise for their use comes from the argument that heat pumps tend to be more efficient and provide the maximum amount of comfort when using a combination of fuel. In this case, the system is a combination of an electric heat pump and a gas furnace.  “At low temperatures, the pump draws on gas heat to maximize efficiency. When the temperature rises above 35 degrees, electricity takes over. The initial costs associated with a dual-fuel heat pump are more than a conventional system, but the amount of money you can potentially save over the next several years more than makes up for the costs.”

Heat Pump Particulars in HVAC

Heat Pump Particulars in HVAC

heat pumpWe enjoy the efforts we put forth on behalf of your HVAC installation and repair in St Louis near Overland MO.  One of the best aspects of this job is to learn more about interesting topics and pass along what we discover to others.  Today, we are looking closer and the H in HVAC, which as most of you probably know, stands for heating.  Heat pump seemed interesting, so we first researched the details surrounding those.

There are two main types of heat pumps used in residential and commercial applications: air-source heat pumps (by far the most common) and ground-source (or geothermal) heat pumps. Did you know that a heat pump works like an air conditioner in the cooling cycle?  Then, when it is in the heating cycle, it simply does the reverse, working to cool the outside while venting heat to the inside. A major difference in the two mentioned above, was found during our research on behalf of your HVAC sales in St Louis near Overland, as follows, “Ground-source heat pumps transfer heat through earth or water, whereas air-source heat pumps do so via air. Because heat pumps simply move heat around rather than creating heat, they can be a very efficient method of space conditioning, especially in moderate climates.”

What lets us know the efficacy of a heat pump?  Well, this would be best measured in efficiency compared to yield.  “Heat pump efficiency is rated using two metrics: SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is used to rate the performance when the unit is acting as an air conditioner; HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) is used to rate the performance when the unit is in heating mode.” In our research, we learned, on behalf of your St Louis HVAC sales, that there is much to be known about efficiency and many ways to dive deeper online.  For now, the above rating system is all we uncovered for time’s sake.  Stay tuned to this site for more posts on heat pumps and more discussion about their efficiency and other surrounding details.

Ductless Is Not Only Great For Cooling

Ductless Is Not Only Great For Cooling

wall HVACWe are here now to continue our conversation regarding ductless systems.  We began research and discovery on the subject as it pertains to efficiency and the latest in technology and options for those of you looking for St Louis Cooling sales near St Peters, but we are here to continue the analysis on heating solutions as well.  According to experts in the field, the following is true, “But it’s time to stop thinking about ductless systems primarily as a cooling solution. With new advancements, ductless systems are an energy efficient source for heating as well. In fact, at least one manufacturer now offers both 9,000 and 12,000 Btu models that deliver 28.0 SEER, with low ambient heat pump performance down to -13 degrees F.”

Ductless systems are an incredible option for anyone who wants exceptional heating and cooling performance and efficiency.  Quite frankly, anyone and everyone should consider making this their way to go in the St Louis heating and cooling realm.  The flexibility you will experience in the cooling installation near St Peters is unbridled and the comfort hits maximum peeks with minimum cost and the most savings throughout the year.

Why are these ductless systems the way to go?  I mean, how do they manage to accomplish all of the things we mention above.  Basically, this is accomplished through great design.  “Ductless systems are designed to be as sleek, slim and unobtrusive as possible, while still delivering extreme efficiency. Homeowners can choose from single-zone cooling models, single-zone heat pumps that cool and heat, and multi-zone heat pumps that cool and heat up to as many as eight rooms on one system. Options include wall mounted units, slim ceiling cassettes and concealed duct units.”  Truly, based on our rather extensive reading and research on the subject on behalf of your St Louis Cooling Installation near St Peters, there is no better way to heat or cool your space than with ductless systems.

The Scoop on Cooling Efficiency

The Scoop on Cooling Efficiency

energy efficiencyLooking even closer at heating and cooling dynamics in our recent research on behalf of your St Louis Cooling installation near Kirkwood MO, we stumbled upon rather interesting information surrounding the air conditioning and heat pump cycles.  “Air conditioners and heat pumps use the refrigerant cycle to transfer heat between an inside unit and an outside unit.”  The only way in which heat pumps differ from air conditioners is the fact that they can reverse by way of a special valve that does not exist for the AC, but does for the heat pump.

Both must operate within specified parameters that dictate a certain maximum level of energy consumption and new efficiency standards for central air conditioners took effect in 2015.  As was true with furnaces, the newer standards differed by region, having greater stringency in the South and Southwest than in the North. According to our recent research on behalf of your St Louis Cooling Repair near Kirkwood, new central air conditioners sold for installation in the South and Southwest must meet a minimum 14 SEER; for units installed in the North, the 13 SEER minimum remains unchanged. Air-source heat pumps must meet the 14 SEER minimum regardless of where they are installed. In addition, central air conditioners installed in the hot, dry Southwest must meet a minimum 12.2 EER (or 11.7 EER for larger models).  These are all numbers found online in our recent research and collected from reliable internet HVAC sources.

It is true that the cooling performance of ground source heat pumps is measured differently.  “In contrast, cooling performance of ground source heat pumps is measured by the steady state EER instead of a seasonal measure. The ENERGY STAR program’s minimum requirements for ground-source heat pumps are 21.1 EER for open-loop systems, 17.1 EER for closed-loop systems, and 16 EER for direct expansion (DX) units.”  We will pick up here later and dive deeper on your St Louis Heating sales and install’s behalf with room air conditioners.  Stay tuned to learn more about BTUs and how to decide just what your room or rooms need in order to keep cool in the hotter months.

SEER and the Heating and Cooling World

SEER and the Heating and Cooling World

researchWhen it comes to heating and cooling we strive to bring you the latest news and information available to the industry on behalf of your heating installation and sales in St Louis near Bridgeton MO.  Today, we flip a coin and go from discussing St Louis Heating Sales to central air conditioners.  “Central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps operating in the cooling mode have been rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) since 1992.”  Many people are clueless when it comes to the ratings of their systems and, mainly when they are shopping, this can be quite pertinent information to have.  So, let us describe some of the nitty gritty surrounding these numbers as they pertain to your St Louis Heating and Cooling maintenance and efficiency.

“SEER is the seasonal cooling output in BTU divided by the seasonal energy input in watt-hours for an ‘average’ U.S. climate. Before 1992, different metrics were used, but the performance of many older central air conditioners was equivalent to SEER ratings of only 6 or 7.”  This number has risen over time with the average central air conditioner sold in 1988 having a SEER-equivalent of about 9; then by 2002 it had risen to 11.1.

According to our research done recently on behalf of your St Louis Heating and Cooling sales near Bridgeton MO, the national efficiency standard for central air conditioners and air source heat pumps now requires a minimum SEER of 13, this has been the case since 2006.  Also, you cannot just receive an ENERGY STAR rating without working for it in the heating and cooling world. This title is only awarded to systems who achieve a minimum of 14.5 SEER.  Basically, the point of our post is to recognize the efficiency differences and the fact that they do exist in the AC and heat pump world.  Also, knowing a bit about their significance can and does make you a smarter shopper in the world of HVAC.

Elaborating Further on Heat Pumps and Central AC

Elaborating Further on Heat Pumps and Central AC

defineMoving onto the second phase of description we are planning on behalf of your St Louis Heating and Cooling installation near Fenton MO, we still have much to explain about your cooling system in your home.  Your air conditioner, to be precise, and though we told you the basics when it comes to the system and how it uses energy to remove actual heat from your space, unfortunately, it isn’t quite that simple.  The process gets quite a bit more complicated with all the controls and valves involved, its effect it rather amazing.  “An air conditioner takes heat from a cooler place and dumps it in a warmer place, seemingly working against the laws of physics. What drives the process, of course, is electricity — quite a lot of it, in fact.”

Our first type of cooling system to discuss, namely because it is the most common, are the central air conditioners and heat pumps designed to cool the entire house. “In each system, a large compressor unit located outside drives the process; an indoor coil filled with refrigerant cools air that is then distributed throughout the house via ducts.”  Heat pumps are then like central air conditioners with the exception of the cycle direction variations.   “Heat pumps are like central air conditioners, except that the cycle can be reversed and used for heating during the winter months.”  We will go into more details on behalf of your St Louis Heating and Cooling sales near Fenton, in regards to heat pumps below.

With a central air conditioner, the same duct system is used with a furnace for forced warm-air heating. In fact, the central air conditioner typically uses the furnace fan to distribute air to the ducts, so there is an overlap and therefore efficiency existent in the system by its simple nature.  Central air conditioners and air source heat pumps in their cooling mode of operation are rated according to their efficiency in the seasons.  We will break down these details in the next couple posts here, on behalf of your Heating sales in St Louis near Fenton MO.

Heating and Cooling in St Louis

Heating and Cooling in St Louis

coolingOf all the heating and cooling options we discussed, the least common are steam boilers.  “In steam boilers, which are much less common in homes today, the water is boiled and steam carries heat through the house, condensing to water in the radiators as it cools. Oil and natural gas are commonly used.”  On behalf of your St Louis Cooling Service near Hazelwood we want to also cover the boiler dynamics.

As opposed to a fan and duct system, a boiler uses a pump to circulate hot water through pipes to radiators. Some hot water systems circulate water through plastic tubing in the floor, a system called radiant floor heating (see “State of the Art Heating”). There are many important boiler controls, which include the following: thermostats, aquastats, and valves that regulate circulation and water temperature, according to St Louis Cooling Service near Hazelwood.  Although the cost is not trivial, it is generally much easier to install “zone” thermostats and controls for individual rooms with a hydronic system than with forced air. We found that cooling and heating controls can be chosen to some extent also.   “Some controls are standard features in new boilers, while others can be added on to save energy.”

There are condensing gas-fired boilers and as with furnaces, condensing gas-fired boilers are relatively common, and significantly more efficient than non-condensing boilers (unless very sophisticated controls are employed). The oil fired condensing boilers are much less common in the US for several reasons related to lower latent potential and potential for fouling with conventional fuel oil.  Heat pumps will be the next subject we cover on behalf of your St Louis Cooling near Hazelwood MO.