What is "SEER"?

A:   Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating is a method by which air conditioning systems are rated for their use of energy versus their output of performance. Much like the mileage rating on an automobile, the SEER on a given HVAC unit is not an indication of the size of the system or its output of air, but rather a relative indication of how it uses energy to do its job. A SEER of 14 and above indicates a system that uses energy more efficiently than 12 or below.

What does "ton" mean in air conditioning?

A:   This equals 12,000 BTUHs (British Thermal Units per Hour). A 3 ton system can remove a load of 36,000 BTUH of combined humidity per hour.

How does humidity affect temperature in the home?

A:   Well, the temperature is the temperature, but humidity levels can certainly affect the way you feel it. The moisture content in the air that you feel is "sensible" humidity and the rest is "latent" humidity. Combined, this moisture can conspire to make you feel sticky and uncomfortable even as an inefficient air conditioning system is burning dollars struggling to do the best job of cooling it can. Humidity is also a top contributor to the production and ongoing development of mold, mildew and other contaminants that can plague a home's comfort system. Control the humidity and you'll breath easier, pay less and feel far more comfortable.

How much air conditioning does my house need?

A:   Almost every situation is different in one regard or another. Certainly there are procedures which we follow on each system design project, but we always go through a thorough process to determine the best combination of products and methods to meet your objectives. If a system is undersized, it cannot keep up with the demands of our extreme seasonal temperatures. If it is oversized it will cost more to operate than it is saving in energy efficiency. If the outdoor unit is not properly matched to the indoor unit, there won't be a balance of airflow through your comfort system. We have the solution for comfort and savings in your home, but in order to accurately arrive at how to structure your system size, components and distribution, we need to visit and carefully assess. These consultations are free and we encourage you to call for an appointment.

What is a "Heat Pump"?

A:   By reversing the flow of refrigerant in a system, a heat pump converts itself from a cooling unit to a heating unit too. When a heat pump unit is cooling, it is actually removing heat from the air we feel. They use a condenser, and evaporator and a blower to basically move the heat from one place (inside the house) to another place (outside). The refrigerant is what is used to carry the heat along.

A reversing valve in a heat pump allows this system to operate the other way when in heating mode, switching the roles of the evaporator and the condenser and bringing heat from outside into your home.

Even when it is cold outside, there is heat that the unit can use to pump into your home - but when it gets really cold, electric heating elements inside the system engage to supplement the process. Even with the addition of electric heating to this operation, the heat pump process is far more energy efficient than electricity alone to produce heat for the home.


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