When all American-made air conditioners used American-made reversing valves we only had about one failure in 20 years serviced by Integrity Air. Now that all of them are made in China we get about one failure a year. And it is an expensive replacement even with the part under warranty. That being said, we are promoting heat pumps less than we used to. They are common in Hillsborough County because TECO promoted them. More new neighborhoods use a gas furnace and that is a good choice considering the reversing valve problems.
Integrity Air welcomes your comments, concerns and questions. Call (813) 932-2665 if your HVAC needs service or you are considering replacing your system.
The photos below show 2 different technologies to achieve different temperatures throughout a home. A central ducted system can be set up with motorized dampers to let just the right amount of conditioned air into each room…called Zone Control. Ductless air conditioning is a separate system or at least air handler (head) for each section of zone in the building. For zone control to work correctly the ducts need to be oversized as compared to standard design because when one damper closes it restricts the total and the total airflow should not be overly diminished. The air balance trainers at “National Comfort Institute” conducted a study and found that about 80% of residential ducts in the US are undersized as compared to the performance required by the equipment they are connected to. A solution to the undersized duct issue is to implement a hybrid system. We can install a smaller central system at the time of replacement that better matches the duct size you have in your home. Then we add a ductless system to both enhance capacity and add the feature of separate thermostats or zone control. Central air with ducts filters better and or allows for better filters. Ductless air conditioners, aka Mini Split Heat Pumps have better energy savings. This is partly due to the higher rating and secondly due to the fact that there is no thermal loss of the ducts in an unconditioned space when there are no ducts in the first place.
A building with small zones can often be better served with ductless air conditioning or using a combination of ductless and ducted air handlers. The combination is sometimes referred to as hybrid air conditioning. This brings together the amazing energy efficiency of ductless with the good filtration of a ducted air handler.
That being said, Jay Hoover, with 30 years of experience at Integrity Air Heating & Cooling, says he has improved more systems by removing zone control, then by adding it. The biggest reason is most folks do not live in homes large enough to accomodate the volume of oversized ducts needed to make the system work properly. Another negative is the noise. When the controls shut off dampers to cut air flow to rooms that will not be air conditioned, the ducted air handler still needs to achieve 100% airflow and this can create noise through smaller ducts, or worse…it just will not deliver adequate airflow to operate reliably.
However, every single home and situation are unique. We would love to evaluate your needs and discuss options and go over the pros and cons for your home or business. You can decide what is best. Call us for a free evaluation. (813) 932-2665
Wi-Fi thermostats are also known as learning thermostats. They are similar to programmable ones; however, there is no need to program them as they learn to know when you are in your home. The learning feature source is from either infrared sensors that feel your body heat or geofencing to know how far away your phone is from your home.
This particular thermostat featured in the photo is from Honeywell, a major manufactuer of thermostats, including Wi-Fi enabled. Another manufactuer is owned by Google. A marketing push by Honeywell simply says, “We are NOT Google”. What they are really saying is we are NOT collecting information about you, such as….When you are home.
Cleaning the coil of a ductless air conditioner can be done without creating a mess. It just takes a bit of planning and thinking ahead. To clean thoroughly we remove the drain pan from the bottom and the blower wheel to soak them. Then we set up the shower curtain arrangement and use gentle coil chemicals with a good rinse. After the drain pan and blower are soaked they can be cleaned and the whole thing reassembled. You now have a clean air conditioner which is important for the air conditioner and more important, for your lungs.
If you are considering a new HVAC system there are many things to evaluate. In this article we will be focusing on Blower Motor types. Four basic factors to evaluate are: initial cost, realiability, energy use, and humidity control. We will compare 3 types of blower motors in this discussion. The 3 types are Standard Common (P.S.C.), Constant Velocity(X-13) and True Variable Speed. Please see the chart below.
The first motor described is the good ole reliable, listed here as Standard. It has the lowest initial cost and most reliability. P.S.C. stands for permanent split capacitor. There are three parts in the circuit and it has the added advantage of better parts availability…for future service the parts are more standard and more likely in truck stock in the event of a need for future repair. When it is 95 degrees and 90% humidity this becomes very important to you! Due to government mandated energy efficiency standards these are only available up to 3 tons of refrigeration capacity. We have them in the Trane and Goodman brands.
The second listed is the Constant Velocity, also known as X-13. Easy to remember for me bacause the reliability level is noted by the unlucky number 13. These are the most energy efficient but only as matched to undersized ductwork when compared to a True Variable. With good ductwork the energy use is the same as a true variable speed blower. Manufacturers say that these are more reliable when installed north of Hillsborough County, but Hillsborough County is where we live. We install them mostly when in a Trane Hyperion cabinet because they are more reliable when configured upstream of the cooling coil.
Lastly we have the True Variable. These were originally called simply Variable and the prior Constant Velocity was considered de-featured Variable since they are both Electronically Commutated Motors. These get the best humidity control when programmed as “enhanced” because for 8 minutes the blower runs of 80% speed allowing faster coil cooling which really “wrings” the moisture out of the air. Then allows it to run at 100% speed for good energy efficiency. A good match for the high humidity in Florida.