A/C Ratings Explained

A/C Ratings ExplainedIf you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you want to make sure that you get the best system to fit your needs and your budget. Unlike several decades ago when your main concerns were price and cooling power, most homeowners today are interested in finding a system that is affordable, keeps them comfortable, and is energy efficient. A good understanding of air conditioner ratings can help ensure that you find the best HVAC system for your needs.

The main air conditioner ratings to look for on modern HVAC systems are the EER and SEER ratings. Here’s a quick breakdown of each one:

EER

This rating stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s intended to help homeowners compare how different systems stack up in terms of how much energy they use to achieve a certain amount of cooling power.

EER rates how much power a specific system uses to achieve an 80-degree indoor temperature on a 95-degree day. Because of this, comparing two system’s EER ratings helps you to know which is more energy-efficient on hot days.

However, a cooling season rarely has a consistent run of only hot days. Temperatures fluctuate from day to day and month to month. To look at a whole season’s energy efficiency, you need to consider the SEER rating.

SEER

This rating stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It rates systems on how much energy they use to cool a house throughout a range of temperatures, spanning from 65 to 104 degrees. This gives homeowners a better feel for how efficient the system will be throughout the entire cooling season.

How to Use EER and SEER

For both ratings, higher numbers mean more efficiency. SEER has a minimum standard of 13 in the northern half of the country and 14 in the southern half. The more you use your A/C, the more return you’ll get on your investment in a higher rated system.

Ready to figure out what the best air conditioner ratings are for your Martin County, Palm Beach County, or Indian River County home? Contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioner ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 772-207-1658.

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Why Air Duct Cleaning is Necessary for Your System

Why Air Duct Cleaning is Necessary for Your SystemYour HVAC system works best when it’s relatively clean. This not only applies to components like the cooling coils and blower fan, but also to your home’s ductwork. Cleaning your air ducts is an important part of keeping your HVAC system in good shape.

There are plenty of advantages to cleaning your air ducts:

  • When combined with other measures such as changing your air filters and cleaning the cooling coil, air duct cleaning can help improve the overall quality of your home’s indoor air.
  • By removing blockages and other obstructions, air duct cleaning also makes it easier and more energy-efficient for your HVAC system to circulate conditioned air throughout your home.
  • A professional air duct cleaning can also help uncover potential ductwork problems that could impact your home’s comfort and energy usage.

There’s no recommended interval for cleaning the air ducts. In fact, the EPA recommends cleaning them on an as-needed basis. If you’re wondering when you should have your ducts cleaned, here are a few situations to consider:

  • After a home remodeling/renovation. Significant amounts of dust and debris can settle within the ductwork, prompting the need for a cleaning.
  • If there’s evidence of an animal or insect infestation.
  • If you see visible mold growth inside the ducts.
  • If there’s a severe buildup of dust that could travel to other areas of the home.

Air duct cleaning is important for your HVAC system’s performance and energy efficiency. To learn more, contact the professionals at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating, proudly serving Martin County, Palm Beach County and Indian River County.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air ducts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 772-207-1658.

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Learn About Common A/C Condensate Drain Issues

Learn About Common A/C Condensate Drain IssuesCondensate is the byproduct of the air conditioning process. Under the hot, humid Florida heat, your A/C system is bound to produce a lot of it. It’s not unusual to see the following condensate drain issues pop up as your home’s cooling demands increase.

Mold Growth

It’s not surprising to see mold growth in the A/C condensate drain. The dark, damp confines of the drain tray and tube make it an ideal environment for mold and mildew to flourish. If left unaddressed, the mold growth can clog up the drain and make it difficult for condensate to drain properly. Mold spores can also circulate throughout your indoor spaces, potentially impacting your home’s indoor air quality and your family’s health.

Condensate Leakage

Obstructions in the drain line can cause condensate to completely fill the drainage tray, eventually causing the condensate within to overflow the tray and spill over onto the floor. The resultant flooding could cause water damage to your A/C equipment, as well as your drywall and flooring if it isn’t cleaned up in time.

An overflowing drainage tray isn’t the only way that condensate can escape. Drainage trays made from plastic can crack due to stress or accidental damage, resulting in leaks that could eventually lead to water damage. Metal drainage trays can also develop holes due to rust or corrosion. If either scenario happens, your HVAC technician will have to replace the tray.

Drain Trap Issues

Similar to a kitchen sink, most condensate drains feature a U-shaped trap. The drain trap contains a small amount of water that helps block sewer odors from traveling through the drain pipe. If the trap dries out, these gases can travel into your home. Mold and fungi can also flourish inside of the drain trap if water isn’t able to flow through it properly.

If you need an expert to take care of your condensate drain problems, contact the professionals at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. We proudly serve Martin County, Palm Beach County and Indian River County.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about condensate drains and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 772-207-1658.

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Two-Stage Cooling 101

Two-Stage Cooling 101When it is time to upgrade your air conditioner, don’t settle for the old standards. Instead, consider installing an A/C equipped with two-stage cooling. Here are the benefits of using these instead of single-stage units.

The Difference Between Two-Stage Cooling and Standard Cooling

Your standard central air conditioner powers on full-throttle to push cold air through vents. As soon as it brings the home’s interior down to the temperature you have previously set, the air conditioner shuts off. The home then gradually warms until the air conditioner cycles back on.

Two-stage cooling models have two separate speeds instead of one high speed. Instead of initiating a strong, short surge of cool air and then shutting off, these air conditioners stay on longer and switch between the high or low speed to match cooling requirements more precisely.

The Impact on Home Comfort

Air conditioners longer cycles increase your comfort in two ways. First, since air circulates for longer periods, the air conditioner’s natural dehumidifying ability is enhanced. You will experience reduced humidity in the home, and this makes it feel cooler. Lower humidity also results in better air quality by reducing mold.

Secondly, temperature in the home will remain more even. Standard single-stage air conditioners blast cold air, but then they don’t come on again until the house has warmed to a certain temperature, which can feel uncomfortable. Two-stage air conditioners promote uniform coolness by running longer at the lower speed and switching to high speed when it is required. Air flows at a more constant rate, eliminating stuffiness and keeping everyone cooler.

The Benefit to the Compressor’s Lifespan and Efficiency

Cycling on and off is rough on a compressor and uses a lot of energy. Two-stage compressors experience less of this and tend to have a longer lifespan than do single-stage compressors. These air conditioners are also more energy-efficient than single-stage models because the low speed, which uses less energy than the speed of a single stage air conditioner, is typically sufficient for cooling the home.

For more about two-stage cooling, please contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about two-stage cooling and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 772-207-1658.

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New Digital Features You Can Look for in an HVAC System

New Digital Features You Can Look for in an HVAC SystemHVAC systems have incorporated many technological advancements in recent years that help deliver greater energy efficiency. Keeping in stride with home-automation products, these “smart” HVAC systems with the latest digital features provide hi-tech comfort and you don’t even have to lift a finger, push a button, or swipe your smartphone screen. If you’d like a refresher course on the latest HVAC offerings and digital technologies, keep reading!

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Prepping for Stormy Weather During Hurricane Season

Prepping for Stormy Weather During Hurricane SeasonOf all the weather events in Florida, hurricane season is by far the most perilous. The powerful winds, pounding rain, lightning strikes, and even tornadoes account for millions, if not billions, of property damage when a severe storm hits. Since your cooling system has a large outdoor component, it’s important to prepare it before extreme weather hits to prevent the loss of its use.

Tie It Down

Strong winds can blow an outdoor condenser off its pad, which will severely damage it. It may need replacing, and if it’s an older unit, you may need a complete system replacement. Even if your insurance covers it, there may be an uncomfortable delay before an HVAC professional can complete the installation.

Wrap It

Tying a sturdy tarp around the condenser will prevent some of the wind damage. Secure the tarp around the unit with a nylon rope or bungee cords.

Protect from Electrical Damage

Lightning strikes and powerful winds can damage the electrical components inside the condenser, in the circuit breaker box, and the indoor air handler. Ask your HVAC contractor to install a surge protector for your cooling system. Not only will it mitigate the likelihood of electrical problems during hurricane season, it will protect your system throughout the year by minimizing the damage power surges create.

Power surges occur when utility workers restore power to damaged lines or when switching from section of the grid to another. Surges can occur during fair weather and have the potential to burn out anything that uses electricity. Should your area receive an evacuation notice, it’s a good idea to take out the fuse inside the condenser and turn the system off at the circuit breaker.

After the Storm

If your system appears to be damaged or your area experienced heavy flooding, contact your HVAC professional to clean and inspect the unit before you turn it on.

Hurricane season is perilous for your HVAC system and doing what you can to protect it may preserve it. To learn more, contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating, serving Martin, Palm Beach, and Indian River County homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about weather preparation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 772-207-1658.

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What Does the Information on the EnergyGuide Label Mean?

What Does the Information on the EnergyGuide Label Mean?The EnergyGuide label you find on many appliances and electronics provides much of the information you need to make choices based on how much energy the product uses. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requires manufacturers to test and disclose the energy usage of most major appliances and place the information prominently on a bright yellow label.

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HVAC Replacement and Maintenance: A Timeline

HVAC Replacement and Maintenance: A TimelineIf you don’t maintain your car with regular tune ups, pretty soon it isn’t going to get you very far. Or, worse yet, leave you stranded on the side of the road in sweltering temperatures. This isn’t an extreme analogy at all when you’re talking about your home comfort, energy bills, and making your HVAC maintenance timeline a high priority. Use this guide to help prevent expensive HVAC repairs and early system failure.

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How to Get Rid of Bacteria and Mold in Your House

How to Get Rid of Bacteria and Mold in Your House | NisAirBelieve it or not, you’re always sharing your house with mold and bacteria regardless of how spotless it is. But don’t panic just yet. They become harmful when allowed to grow and increase unchecked. Severe infestations can cause disease and allergic reactions. For you to successfully eliminate infestations, it’s important to understand the possible causes. Read More »

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The Basics of HVAC Air Filter Ratings

The Basics of HVAC Air Filter Ratings | NisAirA well-functioning HVAC system is essential for comfort, efficiency, and proper humidity control, and the air filter plays a critically important role in its reliable operation. Choosing the right HVAC air filter isn’t always easy when you’re faced with a complicated rating system and different industry acronyms. Learning these air filter basics can help. Read More »

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    Phil Jr. and Christine Phil Jr. decided long ago to follow in his father’s footsteps working in the family business since he was a young teenager and Christine started working for NisAir in 1983 while still in high school. After graduation she continued to work at the business while attending the local community college for her career development... More »