Ductless AC vs. central air conditioning systems for your home.

If you’re looking to get a new AC system, there are many things to consider. You’ll want to make sure you choose the best type of equipment for your home and budget. And since different types of units offer varying benefits, you’ll want to know what each option offers.

When considering replacing their current unit, the most common question is whether to go with central air conditioning or ductless mini split systems. The choice depends on how much space you have in your house and where you’d like to place your AC unit.

Central air conditioning requires a large opening in the wall near your furnace or boiler. This allows warm air to flow throughout your entire home. However, because central air tends to cost more upfront, it’s important to remember that you won’t benefit from it unless you live somewhere that gets hot during the summer months.

On the other hand, ductless mini-splits are less expensive and require far fewer holes in the walls. They work by blowing cold air directly into the rooms where it’s needed. Because they operate independently, you can install multiple units in different areas of your house without running long lines of piping.

But even though ductless mini splits are smaller and cheaper, they aren’t necessarily better than central air. Some people find that they cause problems for certain homes. For example, if you have a lot of open spaces in your house, you could feel too chilly in winter and too stuffy in summer.

So while both options have pros and cons, a good rule of thumb is to pay attention to the size of your home and the amount of square footage dedicated to living quarters. Then, use our guide to help determine which solution works best for you.

So What is a Ductless System Anyways?

A ductless system consists of two parts: a condensing unit that sits outdoors and a fan coil unit that sits within your home. Inside the home, there is another part called the air handler. This is where the cooling process occurs, and the cooled air is distributed throughout the home. There are three types of ductless systems: whole house, mini splits, and split systems.

Whole House Systems

The most common type of ductless system is a whole-house system. These use one compressor and one fan coil unit per room. As the name implies, the whole house system covers the entire house.

Mini Splits

This type of system is ideal for smaller homes because each room has its dedicated unit. Mini-splits come in single-zone and multi-zone versions. Single-zone models work well for small spaces such as bathrooms and bedrooms. Multi-zone models allow you to run multiple fans simultaneously.

Split Systems

These systems are great for large houses because they offer even distribution of conditioned air across multiple zones. Split systems usually include a master controller and a remote control panel.

How to Decide Which One is Right for You

Do You Have Existing Ductwork?

If you have existing ductwork, you’ll probably want to keep using it. However, installing a ductless system may be a better option if you don’t have any ductwork.

A ductless system costs significantly less than a traditional central air conditioner. A typical ductless system installation costs between $1,500-$2,000, whereas a central air conditioner typically costs between $3,000-$5,000.

There will also be much less mess during installation. All you need is a 3-inch hole in the wall to connect the ductless unit to the outside. No dirty ducts or pipes running across the ceiling.

You won’t have to worry about leaks, either. Because there are no ducts, there’s nothing to leak out of. And since the units are installed directly inside the walls, there’s no risk of water damage.

Finally, a ductless system is ideal for homes with new additions. Since there are no ducts to clean, you don’t have to worry about dust buildup. You won’t have to tear down drywall to install the ductless unit. So whether you have existing ductwork or not, a ductless system makes sense.

Will You Mind Looking at Your Air Conditioner?

A central air conditioning system is one of those things that many people don’t think much about. After all, it just cools down your home – what could be wrong with that? Here are a few things you might want to know about central systems.

When you’re indoors, a centralized AC is invisible. This makes it hard to tell whether it’s working properly. And while most modern units come with remote controls, older ones often require manual operation.

Even though the manufacturers go through a great deal of trouble to make the box as attractive as possible, there is always something to see. For example, look closely at the vents on your current system. They tend to be large and bulky. On the other hand, ductless systems require a vent in the ceiling or a small unit on the wall. These can be quite elegant and unobtrusive.

A central system may work best for you if you’re very particular about how your home looks. However, these homeowners found some creative ways of hiding their ductless system.

What Size is Your Home?

Most plain ductless systems won’t have enough power to keep your home comfortable. But there are exceptions. A small house might require a smaller unit. And a big one could use a bigger one.

If you’re looking to install a ductless heating/cooling system, here’s what size you need to be based on your home’s square footage.

Smaller Homes:

• Smaller homes usually require smaller units. You want a unit that has about 3,000 BTUs per hour. This will provide adequate heat for most rooms.

• For example, a 4,000-square-foot home needs a 7,200 BTU unit.

Medium Homes:

• Medium-sized homes typically need medium-sized units. They range from 5,000 to 8,000 BTUs per hour.

Are You Sensitive to Noise?

If noise matters to you, it might be worth asking your HVAC contractor about the sound levels of different heating and cooling equipment types. Ductless Gilbert air conditioning units are less noisy than central air systems, while heat pumps are usually much noisier than traditional gas furnaces.…

Ways to improve indoor air quality and reduce air pollution in your home.

Indoor air pollution has become a major concern around the globe. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), outdoor air pollution kills over 7 million people every year. Indoor air pollution also causes health problems such as asthma, respiratory infections, heart disease, cancer, and premature death.
The WHO estimates that nearly 3 billion people worldwide breathe polluted air indoors. This number is expected to increase to 4.3 billion by 2030. If you live in a developing country where air quality isn’t regulated or monitored, you might consider investing in an air purifier.

An air purifier removes contaminants from the air, improving indoor air quality. There are several types of air purifiers, each designed for specific purposes. Some remove allergens, odors, smoke, dust, bacteria, viruses, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, and other pollutants. Others cleanse the air of radon gas, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, tobacco smoke, and other chemicals.

Here are several ways to improve your indoor air quality

Common Air Pollutants.

Air pollution can come from many sources inside and outside your home. Contaminants like dust, smoke, pollen, bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and gases can enter your home through cracks around windows, doors, pipes, vents, chimneys, and appliances. You can also inhale harmful substances indoors through cigarette smoke, cooking fumes, cleaning products, paint, furniture, carpets, and dryer sheets.

Carbon Monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas, is produced during the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, coal, gasoline, and oil. CO poisoning is often caused by faulty heating systems, furnaces, fireplaces, space heaters, water heaters, boilers, and hot tubs. If you smell, see, see, or hear it, call 911 immediately.

Mold and Mildew Mold spores float through the air and settle on surfaces throughout your home. A mold buildup can cause health problems, including allergies, asthma attacks, coughing, sinus infections, skin rashes, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. Remove moldy items and use HEPA filters in air purifiers. Cleaning surfaces regularly helps control mold growth.

Asbestos Asbestos is a mineral fiber used in construction materials, insulation, and fireproofing products. Asbestos fibers release microscopic fragments that irritate the respiratory system when disturbed. Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers. Keep children out of areas containing asbestos. Don’t disturb old building materials. Wear protective clothing while working in areas with asbestos.

Lead exposure causes brain damage, behavioral changes, learning disabilities, and kidney damage. It can affect the nervous system, immune system, reproductive organs, blood cells, bones, teeth, and kidneys. Children exposed to high levels of lead tend to develop smaller heads and brains. Over time, lead can leach out of paint, soil, and metal objects. Reduce lead exposure by keeping kids away from old paint and rusting metals. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling anything that could expose you to lead. Use a respirator when sandblasting or painting.

Smoke Smoke contains thousands of toxic chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic. Breathing secondhand smoke puts people at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and certain types of cancer. Avoid smoking in public places and cars, especially those occupied by young children. Ask smokers to refrain from smoking within six feet of others.

Here are seven things you can do right away to improve the air quality in your home:

Change your AC filter.

Air-conditioning systems are constantly working to keep your house comfortable. They cycle through all that air, filtering out dust and pollen along the way. However, as they do so, they filter out other things, like allergens and smoke particles. When your air filters become clogged, they no longer work properly, leading to problems such as poor air quality and increased energy usage.

If you don’t change your filters regularly, you could spend thousands of dollars fixing issues caused by dirty air filters. And even worse, you could end up with a broken unit that needs expensive repair work.

So, make sure you change your AC filters regularly. If you already have an annual maintenance contract for your air conditioner, ask about changing the filters during your next appointment. Otherwise, consider getting an air conditioning service plan, which usually includes a filter change. This way, you’ll know exactly what’s included in your monthly bill.

Check Your Air Ducts.

Air ducts are responsible for delivering heated and cooled air throughout your home. They can be found along walls, ceilings, and floors and are usually hidden behind wallpaper, insulation, and drywall. While you probably don’t think about them much, ducts play a critical role in maintaining a healthy indoor environment.

But ducts that aren’t installed properly or maintained can cause problems. Dust, dander, and even mildew can collect inside your ducts over time, reducing the overall airflow and increasing the risk of allergens spreading throughout your home. This could lead to itchy eyes, nosebleeds, coughing fits, and asthma attacks.

Hire a professional to check out your ducts to keep things running smoothly. A qualified technician will inspect your system, including vents, registers, fans, grilles, and filters. He’ll look for signs of leaks, blockages, and damage, and he’ll recommend repairs where necessary.

Use Cooking Vents.

Homeowners often overlook indoor air quality. But it’s important because many common household products — like cleaning supplies, paint, furniture polish, and food preservatives — are known to cause health problems.

Gas stoves release harmful contaminants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxides. These gases can build up inside the home over time, causing headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. They can also lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Electric burners also emit dangerous chemicals, including formaldehyde, benzene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). PAHs are carcinogenic substances that can damage DNA and cause cancer.

If you use gas or electricity for cooking, keep your kitchen vent hoods clean and clear of debris. You could also install a ventilation system in your kitchen, which circulates filtered outside air throughout the house.

Keep Your Rugs and Carpets Clean.

Rugs and carpets do much more than add style to your home. They are one of the best ways to improve the air quality inside your house. A good rug or carpet will trap dirt and dust mites in the pile of material, keeping it out of your home and preventing you from breathing in allergens. Plus, because most rugs and carpets are machine washable, you don’t even have to worry about cleaning them yourself.

Keep your rugs and carpet clean regularly, and they’ll continue to work hard for you, improving the quality of the air inside your home without you having to lift a finger.

Control Humidity in Your Home.

Humidity causes problems throughout the house, including the kitchen. It’s one of the most common reasons people call pest control companies. When humidity levels rise too high, pests become active and start breeding. This creates a perfect environment for bacteria to grow and spread.

When dealing with a problem like mold, you want to ensure there isn’t enough moisture in the air to cause damage. If you don’t keep humidity under control, the problem could worsen over time.

Buy Indoor Plants to Freshen the Air.

Plants are nature’s natural air filtration system. They help to cleanse the air we breathe, purifying it by absorbing pollutants such as pollen, dust mites, bacteria, mold spores, pet dander, cigarette smoke, and even radon gas. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that people living in homes with plants had cleaner air than those without plants. There was a significant reduction in airborne allergens, including fungal spores, house dust mites, cat and dog dander, and cockroach excreta.

Buying a few indoor plants to enhance your home décor and improve indoor air quality can make you feel good about yourself. And it doesn’t hurt that plants add life to your space.…

Energy and HVAC Optimization

Let’s discuss 30-40% of your power bill. That is how much it costs the average homeowner or business owner to provide adequate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Maintaining a pleasant, healthy interior atmosphere requires a strong HVAC system.

Many owners have asked me for a method to lower their energy and HVAC costs over the years. They don’t want to give up the internal ambient conditions but want a step-by-step plan to follow. The intriguing thing frequently is that energy expenses are significantly reduced, and HVAC system efficiency is enhanced. This is a standard function for any mechanical engineer focusing on energy and HVAC.

This article’s information will assist building owners, homeowners, and operators make educated decisions about existing HVAC systems or prospective enhancements.

  • Load Reduction
  • HVAC Systems
  • Control Systems

Load Reduction

Load reduction is the first step toward energy and HVAC system optimization. This stage often comprises a long-term strategy that lists the steps to be followed based on the highest return on investment. Reducing the load on your building allows the current HVAC system to run more effectively.

If a new system or systems are being explored, designing for the lower load rather than the present load will be more cost-effective. Among the most prevalent load reduction techniques are:

Tighten up the building shell and add more insulation. In some cases, adding insulation to older structures may be impossible. Thus, greater attention should be paid to the external shell, particularly windows and doors.

Putting in energy-efficient windows. This is an important consideration in certain structures that still have single-pane windows. Installing double-pane windows with a thermal break provides a high return on investment. Check that the windows are ENERGY STAR-approved. Tinting or Low-E coatings will be even more beneficial.

Upgrading lighting systems. Energy-efficient lighting solutions emit less heat into the conditioned room than incandescent lighting systems. Consider light troffers if you have a return air plenum instead of return air ducting so that part of the light’s heat is returned to the HVAC system rather than traveling into the inhabited space.

Selecting energy-efficient equipment and electrical gadgets with a power-saving mode will limit appreciable heat buildup in the area. Consider copy machines, kitchen equipment, computers, and refrigerators.

Control ventilation by balancing your outside air. Most building owners have original HVAC system installation blueprints. Have your designs checked by a mechanical expert to ensure that your outdoor air flow rates meet the most current code standards? Even if no drawings are available, your mechanical engineer should be able to offer improvements.

Addressing these issues is the first step toward lowering energy and HVAC expenditures.

HVAC Systems

The second step toward energy and HVAC system optimization is to understand your system. Your HVAC system is vital to your indoor climate but also accounts for a significant portion of your utility costs. While discussing every system is beyond the scope of this essay, a few recommendations may be made.

Every HVAC system component has become more efficient over time. If your system is over 13 years old, it’s time to start considering a replacement. Residential systems with proper maintenance have a life expectancy of roughly 15 years, yet they appear to collapse at the worst possible moment. Prepare a backup plan in case your equipment fails.

Commercial systems differ, but if your building uses packaged equipment or split systems, you should expect the same lifetime. The HVAC system may be more sophisticated in bigger commercial and industrial applications, necessitating an individual examination by a mechanical engineer.

As previously stated, HVAC systems vary, and no one-size-fits-all study applies to bigger systems. These systems have one thing in common: they are often powered by electricity. Electricity is expensive. Thus, any attempt to boost efficiency is beneficial.

Control Systems

Controlling your system is the third stage in achieving energy and HVAC system efficiency.

Programmable Thermostats-The advent of digital controllers has made energy conservation simple. A programmable thermostat is one of the finest investments for a household or small business property owner. These are simple to use and contain time management concepts.

Most manufacturers include 7-day plans and setback/setup programs that will switch the HVAC system on and off based on your schedule and desired interior temperature. This is an excellent approach to guarantee that HVAC systems are only used when necessary.

DDC Systems-This is a must-have system for large commercial buildings. Installation prices have steadily declined, but performance dependability has grown. They may be incorporated into any system and scaled up as needed. These features include optimum HVAC system start/stop, multiple zone control, numerous temperature sensor placements, and ventilation control.

The capacity of these systems to scale up to the greatest commercial applications is their strongest feature. This means you may start with a simple system and gradually add additional controls to encompass your entire HVAC system. Once again, the payback period is brief and well worth the investment.

Summary

Energy and HVAC optimization will help you save money on power. A little time spent getting to know your system and being acquainted with improvement ideas will save you money and extend the life of your equipment.…