Ventilation Systems for Cooling

Ventilation Systems for Cooling

Ventilation is the least expensive and most energy-efficient way to cool buildings. Ventilation works best when combined with methods to avoid heat buildup in your home. In some cases, natural ventilation will suffice for cooling, although it usually needs to be supplemented with spot ventilation, ceiling fans, and window fans. For large homes, homeowners might want to investigate whole house fans.

Interior ventilation is ineffective in hot, humid climates where temperature swings between day and night are small. In these climates, natural ventilation of your attic (often required by building codes) will help to reduce your use of air conditioning, and attic fans may also prove beneficial. However, an alternate approach is to seal the attic and make it part of the conditioned space in your house, putting the insulation on the inside of the roof rather than on the floor of the attic. Sealed attics are more feasible in new home construction, but can be retrofitted on an existing house.

Principles of Heating and Cooling

Understanding the roles of conduction, convection, radiation, and perspiration.

Avoiding Heat Buildup

Keeping the outside heat outside, avoiding heat-generating activities, and using spot ventilation can help keep your home cool during hot days.

To avoid heat buildup in your home, plan ahead by landscaping your lot to shade your house. If you replace your roof, use a light-colored material to help it reflect heat. Insulate your house to at least the recommended levels to help keep out the heat, and consider using a radiant barrier.

On hot days, whenever outdoor temperatures are higher than the temperature inside your house, close tightly all the windows and exterior doors. Also install window shades or other window treatments and close the shades. Shades will help block out not only direct sunlight, but also radiated heat from the outdoors, and insulated shades will reduce the conduction of heat into your home through your windows.

Cooking can be a major source of heat within a home. On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove-top, or better yet, use only a microwave oven. For stove-top or oven cooking, use the spot ventilation of your oven hood to help remove the heat from the house (this will suck some hot outside air into your home, so don’t overdo it). Outdoor grilling is a great way to avoid cooking indoors, and of course, going out to eat or ordering take-out work as well.

Bathing, washing laundry, and other activities can also pump heat into your home. When you shower or take a bath, use the spot ventilation of a bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. If you use an electric dryer, be sure it’s vented to the outside.

Finally, avoid any activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.

Natural Ventilation Systems for Cooling

In some parts of Australia, natural convection and cool breezes are sufficient to keep homes cool.

Ceiling Fans, Window Fans, and Other Circulating Fans

Fans that circulate air within your home can improve your comfort level. Window fans use relatively little electricity and provide sufficient cooling for homes in many parts of the country.

Whole House Fans

For larger homes, a whole house fan provides excellent ventilation to achieve lower indoor temperatures. For homes with ducts, an alternative approach uses those ducts to supply ventilation air throughout the home.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Air Conditioner Maintenance

An air conditioner’s filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases. Air Conditioner Maintenance is a crucial part of keeping the costs of operating your air conditioner down.

Air Conditioner Filters

The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.

For central air conditioners, filters are generally located somewhere along the return duct’s length. Common filter locations are in walls, ceilings, furnaces, or in the air conditioner itself. Room air conditioners have a filter mounted in the grill that faces into the room.

Some types of filters are reusable; others must be replaced. They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace your air conditioning system’s filter or filters every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, or you have fur-bearing pets in the house.

Air Conditioner Coils

The air conditioner’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. In time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this problem, check your evaporator coil every year and clean it as necessary.

Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins.

You should minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit. Your dryer vents, falling leaves, and lawn mower are all potential sources of dirt and debris. Cleaning the area around the coil, removing any debris, and trimming foliage back at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) allow for adequate airflow around the condenser.

Coil Fins

The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. Air conditioning wholesalers sell a tool called a “fin comb” that will comb these fins back into nearly original condition.

Condensate Drains

Occasionally pass a stiff wire through the unit’s drain channels. Clogged drain channels prevent a unit from reducing humidity, and the resulting excess moisture may discolor walls or carpet.

Window Seals for Room Air Conditioners

At the start of each cooling season, inspect the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame to ensure it makes contact with the unit’s metal case. Moisture can damage this seal, allowing cool air to escape from your house.

Preparing for Winter

In the winter, either cover your room air conditioner or remove and store it. Covering the outdoor unit of a central air conditioner will protect the unit from winter weather and debris.

Hiring a Professional

When your air conditioner needs more than regular maintenance, hire a professional service technician. A well-trained technician will find and fix problems in your air conditioning system.

The technician should:

  • Check for correct amount of refrigerant
  • Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
  • Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, instead of illegally releasing it to the atmosphere
  • Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
  • Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously
  • Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
  • Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear
  • Check the accuracy of the thermostat.

Benefits of Installing Air Conditioning

Installing Air Conditioning

Installing Air Conditioning

Alltech Air Conditioning has the expertise and experience to provide all the benefits of installing air conditioning for your home or business. Contact Alltech Air Conditioning Caringbah for a free quote and enjoy the upcoming summer in comfort.

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioning Part 3

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioning Part 3

In the last two blogs, here and here, we talked about what you can do on your own when you are having issues with your air conditioning unit. So far we have only talked about what to do when you have having issues with the air blowing or not cooling at all. Today, we want to talk about what you can do when the whole unit is not working. When this happens, we tend to think the worst; that we will have to pay to get an all new unit. This may not always be the case. Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioning.

1. Check the electrical panel

It could be something as simple as a tripped breaker or a blown fuse that could be the issue.

2. Is the furnace switch on?

Maybe the furnace switch was turned off or the outside condenser power switch was turned off.

3. Turn off the power

Shut the power off to the unit and check the thermostat. You might need to replace the batteries in the thermostat. Wait a few minutes then try the system again.

4. Technical troubleshooting

If nothing has worked and you are up for it, you can open up the thermostat again and unscrew the wire to the Y terminal and touch it to the R terminal with the power on. If it works, you have a faulty thermostat. If it doesn’t, call a technician.

After trying all of these steps and finding that nothing is working, please call a heating and air conditioning technician at Alltech Air Conditioning.

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioning Part 2

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioning Part 2

In our last blog  (Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioning Part 1), we talked about some of the troubleshooting tips that you can do when you are not getting any air out of your air conditioning unit. In this blog, we would like to talk about what you can do when your air conditioning is not cooling your home well. We all know that if you are cooling your home, you notice pretty quickly when it is not working so you will want to find a solution as quickly as you can. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to troubleshooting, these steps can help but if you are unsure what needs to be done, you can call Alltech Air Conditioning at anytime.

  1. Turn off power

Just like anything else, the safest thing to do is turn the appliance off before you check out what is going on.

     2. Remove the door and check the filter

In order to access the filter, you need to remove the door. Check the filter to see if you need to clean or replace it.

    3. Look for ice

If there is ice around the coils, replace the door and turn the unit on again. The ice should melt within the next couple of hours.

   4. Clean the drain

To get rid of the excess water that was created due to the unit removing the water from the air, you first need to clean the drain pipe of algae. Water is also likely to pool around the unit if there is a leak. After removing the water, check back to see if more water appears.

   5. Check and clean the compressor

The compressor is outside of the unit and needs to be cleaned of debris and bushes. But the first step is to make sure that the compressor is indeed working. You will also see the fan running. If it is not, try to get it started with a screwdriver. If the fan starts going, then you may have a bad capacitor that will need to be replaced by a technician.

If you have done these steps and still cannot figure out what is going on with your air conditioning unit, call Alltech Air Conditioning today.

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioning Part 1

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioning Part 1

When you have an air conditioning unit installed in your home, you tend to forget that it is there until something goes wrong. Appliances like air conditioning have a tendency to fail on us on the hottest days off the year so we are not likely to be happy about the situation. Over the next couple of blogs, we want to talk to you about some of the troubleshooting tips that you can do yourself before you make the call to Alltech Air Conditioning. Remember, if you are not comfortable with doing any of these troubleshooting steps, that is okay, too. We can come out at any step of the process. First, we will talk about what to do if your air conditioner isn’t blowing air at all.

 

  1. Turn the power off

Turning off the power will help you to see what is going on with the unit. Make sure that you turn off the gas as well if you have a gas furnace.

  1. Remove the door

Take the door off of the front cabinet so that you can have access to the blower. By doing this you can see the number stamped on the belt so that you can get the correct replacement belt.

  1. Replace the belt

Replacing the belt on the motor can be a difficult process. Once it is on, you can tighten the tension. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications so that you have accurate tension.

  1. Lubrication

If the motor and fan needs oil make sure that you add some while you have the door off. And again, follow the directions of the manufacturer.

 

When your air conditioning isn’t blowing air, it could be a simple fix like replacing your belt, or it could be something more involved. If you are not sure, call the experts at Alltech Air Conditioning.

Why Invest In Commercial Heating And Air Conditioning?

Why Invest In Commercial Heating And Air Conditioning?

As a business owner, you want the inside of your store or office to be comfortable no matter what the season. If your building is constantly too hot or too cold, that could mean a loss in revenue. We understand that running the commercial air conditioning or heat costs money, but we want to give you some examples where we think it will help your business.
Why Invest In Commercial Heating And Air Conditioning?

Employee Productivity

We briefly talked about this topic in this blog, but keeping your employees comfortable has a big effect on your business. If your employees are too hot or too cold, they will be more focused on getting comfortable than doing the work that they are paid to do. It will also help keep employee turnover rates lower. If your employees dread coming into work, eventually they will stop showing up. Whether you own an office or a restaurant, you have to have happy employees.

Returning Guests

In businesses where you depend on customers coming into your building, you want to take care of every person that walks in. If the building is uncomfortably hot, your guests will not be able to enjoy their experience. They will leave and never come back. Not only that but they will tell everyone they know not to go. They could even tell people they don’t know on the internet not to go to your business. Same thing goes for your business being too cold. If you are eating in a freezing restaurant, your food will be cold almost immediately and your guests will not be able to eat it.

There are many reasons why you should invest in commercial heating and air conditioning. Look for more reasons in coming blogs. In the meantime, call Alltech Air Conditioning for a free quote.

Interesting Facts About Electricity

Interesting Facts About Electricity

Just because our name is Alltech Air Conditioning doesn’t mean that it is the only thing that we do. We are also expert, licensed electricians and we have all of the skills that are necessary to design and create entire electrical systems. We love what we do and we have come across some interesting facts about electricity. But remember, when you are dealing with electricity, you will want to contact skilled professionals to decrease the chance of injury. Here are some Interesting Facts About Electricity From Your Electrical Contractors …

  • Electricity travels at 300,000,000 metres per second, AKA the speed of light.
  • A shock of static electricity is said to be about 20,000 volts
  • Lightning bolts travel at 209,214 km/h and can be up to 30,000°C
  • Electric eels can produce up to 500 volts of electricity to protect themselves
  • A bird can sit on power lines as long as they are only touching one at a time. If they touch a second line, they will be electrocuted.
  • Two positive or two negative charges resist each other, while one of each are attracted to each other.
  • Coal is the largest producer of electricity in the world.
  • Electricity helps make our hearts beat. There are specific machines called Electrocardiograms (ECG) that measure how much electricity is going to the heart.
  • American Benjamin Franklin did a lot of research on electricity in the 18th century. He invented the lightning rod.

Whether you are starting from scratch or just need regular maintenance on your existing power system, Alltech Air Conditioning would love to be your electrician. Call us today.