HVAC System

HVAC System

Notable Women in HVAC History

When we talk about the great technological achievements throughout history, we tend to focus on the accomplishments of men. However, in any field, there are always plenty of women whose contributions are just as important, but often go unsung. The field of HVAC is no exception. Here are two women in HVAC history who helped define home comfort as we know it.

Alice H. Parker

For years, homes were heated primarily using wood or coal burning furnaces. Heat would eminate from the unit, which would then spread to the rest of the house. Then in 1919, African American inventor Alice H. Parker changed all that, by inventing a new, safer furnace that burned natural gas instead.

Furthermore, the furnace would heat up the air and distribute it throughout the house via a system of ducts and vents. This way, heat could spread through a home more evenly. Her furnace even allowed homeowners to set different temperatures for different areas of the house according to their individual needs - a concept that wouldn't become widespread until decades later, with the introduction of zoning systems.

Margaret Ingels

Another of the important women in HVAC history was Margaret Ingels. One of the first female engineers in America, she was the first woman to receive a professional Mechanical Engineering degree.

Spending six years in the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers research lab beginning in 1920, Ingels researched how to measure the amount of dust and contaminants in the air in public places. Her crowning achievement, though, was the sling psychrometer, which measures the amount of moisture in the air.

In so doing, Ingels was able to develop the "effective temperature" scale. This scale considers factors like relative humidity and air movement in order to determine the "feels like" temperature when it comes to home comfort.

These are just a few of the women who helped define home comfort as we know it today. To learn about other women in HVAC history, contact us at Air Assurance. We've provided Broken Arrow with quality home comfort solutions since 1985.

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The Biggest Changes in HVAC History in the Last 5 Years

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If you haven't updated your HVAC system in a number of years, you may not be aware of big changes that have taken place in the HVAC industry. Here are some things you might want to know about recent HVAC history that can have an impact on your next HVAC system purchase.

Smart Technology

Of course smart technology has been coming on for a while, but in the last five years, it's moved front and center in the operation and control of HVAC systems. With the introduction of smart thermostats such as the Nest and others, more and more consumers are controlling their systems from near or far with a smart device.

Efficiency Standards

In 2015, the Department of Energy adopted new energy efficiency standards for heat pumps, air conditioners and furnaces. These standards have motivated the HVAC industry to work harder on technological innovations for achieving ever greater efficiency.

Refrigerant Phase-Out

The widely used refrigerant R-22, which has been proven to be harmful to the ozone layer, began to be phased a few years ago. While older systems still use R-22, as of Jan. 1, 2020, the refrigerant will no longer be manufactured and cannot be imported into this country. That means owners of equipment using R-22 will have to pay big prices for dwindling stocks of the refrigerant when their equipment develops a leak, as you cannot use the new refrigerants in air conditioners that require R-22.

Sensor-Driven Equipment

So many systems are now being designed to be activated by sensors that we can't list them all, but here's one that was introduced in 2015 and can provide precise room-by-room temperature control: the Ecovent. Controlled by a smartphone app, the sensor-driven vents replace existing wall, ceiling or floor vents.

Non-Vapor Compression Technology

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy began funding research for non-vapor compression technologies, which won't require coolants to chill air. This could reduce energy use for cooling equipment by as much as 50 percent.

For more on HVAC history and innovations, contact Air Assurance. We serve the Broken Arrow area.

Furnaces, HVAC System

The Truth: Radiant Heat vs. Furnace

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There are many different options when it comes to heating your home. The most common is a forced-air furnace. But you can also install a radiant heating system. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at radiant heat vs furnace options.

Radiant Heating

With radiant heat, heating coils are installed beneath your floorboards. Heat then rises, spreading throughout the room and providing an even, comfortable layer of warmth. Not only are you warmed by the ambient heat, but also by direct contact with the heating source. There's nothing like walking on a radiant floor on cold mornings.

Radiant heating doesn't use ductwork, which eliminates the energy losses that can come from leaky or damaged ducts. Thus it uses much less energy than a forced air system, while heating a room more evenly. The drawback is, no ductwork also means no cooling in the summer. If you do get radiant heat, a dedicated duct system would still have to be installed for your A/C.

Radiant heat is also expensive to install, particularly when retrofitting an existing home, as it means tearing up the floorboards. And if you have thick carpet or area rugs on the floor, they act as insulation, and the radiant heat won't be able to spread effectively throughout your home.

Furnaces

A forced air system has its own advantages when it comes to radiant heat vs furnace. It warms your home more quickly and provides better air circulation.

The main drawback is dealing with energy loss from damaged ductwork, air leaks, poor airflow, and more. Additionally, the ductwork can circulate allergens and other contaminants through your home. The heat isn't as even, and the lower areas of your home will have trouble getting heat at all.

So ultimately, which is better? It all depends on your specific heating and cooling needs. Talk to an expert and let them help you decide which is the best option for your home.

For help solving the radiant heat vs furnace conundrum for yourself, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve all of Broken Arrow's heating and cooling needs.

HVAC System

What Is a Manual J Load Calculation?

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Some HVAC terms are easy to understand while others may leave you scratching your head. For many Broken Arrow area homeowners, Manual J load calculation is definitely in the latter category. Not only is it the first step towards choosing the right HVAC system for your home, but it’s also an essential step.

Developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Manual J load calculation offers homeowners and contractors a way to properly size up a home’s HVAC needs and design an HVAC system that offers the best performance and efficiency match.

How Manual J Benefits Your Home

Different homes have different heating and cooling requirements and it’s easy to choose an HVAC unit that’s ill-equipped to handle your home. Depending on the age-old “rule of thumb” often results in an HVAC system that’s either underpowered or overpowered for the given environment. The former can make your home unbearable during the summer while the latter wastes energy while increasing overall discomfort.

Manual J lets contractors choose the right HVAC system by calculating a home’s precise heating and cooling needs. A typical Manual J calculation takes many of the following factors into account:

  • Square footage

  • Building materials

  • Location and directional orientation

  • Heat gain and loss throughout the entire home

  • Current HVAC system size and type

  • Insulation levels

  • Window types

  • Duct leakage

Using specially designed software, contractors can recommend an HVAC system that provides optimal comfort without using too much energy or wearing out early. Manual J load calculations are commonly done in conjunction with other ACCA design protocols, including Manual S equipment selection and Manual D ductwork design.

No HVAC system replacement should start without a Manual J load calculation. Contact Air Assurance today and let us take care of your heating and cooling needs, using the latest in modern HVAC technology.

HVAC System

The Best HVAC System for a Multifamily Home

If you thought finding the best HVAC system for a single-family home was tough, imaging having to find one that meets the needs of multiple families. Choosing the best HVAC system for multifamily homes is a challenge that countless developers and building owners face often. Not only is there the short-term cost of procurement and installation involved, but there are also long-term implications to consider.

Your Options for Multifamily HVAC

There are plenty of choices at your disposal when it comes to finding the right HVAC system for multifamily homes. Most systems come in the form of centralized and decentralized systems, each with their own pros and cons:

  • Centralized HVAC systems consist of a single unit located in the building’s basement or penthouse. Popular in high-rises and other large multifamily buildings, these systems are typically more energy efficient than their decentralized counterparts, but more expensive to install and maintain.

  • Decentralized HVAC systems consist of separate units designated for each family or building unit. Installation and maintenance are more cost-effective, but these systems lack the maximum efficiency that centralized units offer.

Two-pipe and four-pipe heating and cooling systems are common examples of centralized HVAC systems. Other examples include hot water baseboard and geothermal systems. The latter offers the greatest efficiency of all centralized HVAC systems due to its energy source.

Wall-mounted air conditioners and electric baseboard heating units represent decentralized HVAC systems. Packaged thermal air conditioners and self-contained forced air units are also commonly used in decentralized applications.

Crucial Factors to Consider

Important factors including building size and layout, unit airtightness and the stack effect’s impact on building airflow can easily influence your choice for a multifamily HVAC system. Don’t forget that when it comes to maintaining HVAC systems for multifamily homes, the responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep fall on the landlord, as per the Oklahoma Landlord-Tenant Act.

If you need help choosing the best HVAC system for multifamily homes, turn to the experts at Air Assurance, helping Broken Arrow property owners with their HVAC needs since 1985.

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HVAC for Luxury Living

HVAC systems for luxury homes are important for more than just maximizing comfort. They're crucial for proper maintenance of furnishings, finishes, artwork, and everything else in the houses. By failing to choose a quality unit, you could end up with devastating consequences for your expensive decor. Let's take a closer look at what HVAC for luxury living entails.

Zoned System

It's not easy to keep everything and everyone in a large home comfortable. Elevated temperatures can dry out and crack your irreplaceable wooden furnishings. The room containing your paintings and art collection may need a temperature of around 70 degrees. And let's not forget you'll need more cooling for your home gym and heat for an elderly family member or baby in a different room.

Fortunately, you can heat and cool your luxury property simultaneously with a zoned HVAC system.

Humidity Control

Excess moisture makes moldings and woodwork warp. It also leads to mold growth, which can destroy your photographs, paintings, wallpaper, upholstery, rugs, and draperies. Excessively low humidity can cause materials like ivory, paper, papyrus, and wood to dry out, contract, and become more fragile.

Consider whole-home dehumidification in the summer and humidification in the winter.

Smart Home Technology

Having to adjust numerous TVs, audio zones, lights, and climate zones spread across different rooms or buildings on your property every day is a daunting task. That's why smart home technology is a lifesaver.

You need an HVAC system with smart controls to let you adjust the temperature and even track energy usage from your phone or tablet on the go.

Air Purification

Your luxury property needs an upscale living atmosphere. Air purification systems like germicidal lights and whole-home air purifiers remove airborne contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mold spores, which can cause health problems to your family and guests and damage your property.

By installing an advanced HVAC for luxury living, you'll have a truly luxurious experience in your home. If you want to modernize your HVAC system to suit your upscale living needs in the Broken Arrow area, contact us at Air Assurance.

HVAC System

These 5 HVAC Sounds Indicate Problems for Your HVAC

Do you hear strange sounds from your HVAC system? These sounds can be a sign of severe issues. A standard operating unit may make only an occasional click when turning on and off. When you hear some other unusual sounds, however, it may be time to call our professional company to help you out. Here are some noises you never want to hear from your HVAC system.

1. Loud Banging, Rattling, or Thumping Noises

Any loud noise can indicate an issue with the assembly or the motor. If something is loose, you will hear several rattling noises from your system. Heavy banging and clanking sounds are signs that a component has broken loose. If you hear any of these noises, you need to contact our trained technicians for an inspection.

2. Squealing and Screeching

Motor bearing problems or broken belts will make a loud screeching sound. If your belt is loose, you will need to replace it immediately. Once the belt snaps, it can cause the blower to malfunction. Squealing noises occur when parts have lost lubrication. A little oil to the motor and components can help to stop these annoying sounds.

3. Thwapping

What's thwapping? It's similar to the sound of a baseball card in the spokes of a bicycle. This sound indicates that something is stuck in the blower blades. You want to remove this obstruction to prevent any damages to the motor or blades.

4. Repeating Clicking Sounds

When you hear an occasional clicking sound, that sound is normal for the operation of the system. If you hear continuous clicking sounds, that is not a good sign. Clicking sounds might be a sign of a bad compressor or a panel. If that is the case, you will need to replace those parts.

5. Rattling From the Compressor

A fully functioning compressor will not make any rattling sounds. Rattling sounds means that the motor could be failing on your system. If you hear a loud rattling sound, your part might be broken and need replacement. Any noise from the compressor needs to be inspected by a trained technician.

If you hear these sounds from your system, you need to schedule a service call from a professional HVAC company. Our trained technicians will perform a full point inspection of your system. Call [company_name] in Broken Arrow, OK, to schedule a visit today. We also offer plumbing and indoor air quality services.

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How to Choose the Right HVAC System

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One of the main appliances on residential properties is the HVAC system, which determines the internal temperature in the house each day and makes the environment comfortable for its residents throughout the year. After a decade of use, the HVAC system will need to be replaced as it approaches the end of its lifespan. When it's time to replace the appliance, there are a few tips for choosing the right HVAC system.

1. Consider the Size

When shopping around for a new HVAC system, it's important that the product is large enough to heat or cool the size of your home in Broken Arrow. If you purchase a system that's too small, it will work too hard to heat or cool the interior setting. Oversized systems may work well but will cause you to spend a lot more money to operate it. You can reduce your maintenance costs and utility bills by installing the right-sized product.

2. Look for an Economical System

Purchasing an energy-efficient HVAC system is necessary to ensure that you can keep your operating costs and carbon footprint to a minimum. Look for products that have an Energy Star certification, and check the SEER rating to determine how efficient it is when it operates. Checking the efficiency of the air filters that it uses will also help you to find an economical product.

3. Think Locally

Avoid purchasing an HVAC system that no one in your local area is capable of repairing or servicing. The last thing you want is to have your system break down without having anyone available to repair it quickly. You'll want to own a product that most contractors are experienced working with to prevent it from becoming a headache when it needs to be diagnosed or repaired in the future.

Feel free to reach out to us if you want to learn more about choosing an HVAC system for your home. Call Air Assurance in Broken Arrow, OK, today for more information about the air conditioners we offer to our customers. We provide heating and plumbing services, too.

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Different HVAC Types and Their Benefits

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Driven to boost the efficiency levels in American homes and businesses, the HVAC industry over the last decade has revolutionized HVAC equipment so that it runs cleaner, more efficiently and delivers greater comfort than ever. If you're poised to replace your HVAC system and are planning to shop around among the various HVAC types, read this brief summary on the latest trends.

1. Forced Air/Central Air

The most common type of heating and cooling system, forced air/central air has come a long way. Air is heated or cooled and then delivered through a system of ducts, and distributed through various vents and registers. New technology has vastly improved this type of system, and includes condensing furnaces, modulating air handler fans, scrolling compressors, as well as smart thermostats so you can adjust the temperature when you're away.

2. Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are taking more market share in the cooling and heating industry, as their ability to heat in colder climates is improved. Heat pumps move warm air from the outdoors into the home to heat it, then move warm air from the home outside to cool it. Heat pumps are efficient and clean to run. They generally employ ductwork to distribute conditioned air. Some efficient features available for heat pumps are two- or variable-speed motors for air handlers; two-speed or scrolling compressors to regulate output and backup burners to boost the heat pump's ability to heat during cooler weather.

3. Ductless Mini Splits

As the name implies, ductless mini splits don't require ducts, bur distribute air through air handlers placed around the house. They are a kind of heat pump, so are efficient and clean to run. These are a good choice for a home that has never had ductwork installed.

4. Geothermal systems

Geothermal systems are heat pumps that move heat from the ground or water source into the home for heating and out of the home for cooling. The configuration of your property will be a factor in determining if you can accommodate a geothermal system.

For more on the various HVAC types, contact Air Assurance.

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Smart HVAC: System Automation

In upgrading your HVAC system, you have a lot of different choices. One increasingly popular option is automation. It can be a bit pricey, but there are a number of benefits. Here's a brief guide to help you determine if a smart HVAC system is right for you.

What Is Smart HVAC?

A smart system learns your household's heating and cooling preferences over time and adjusts to them automatically, to provide enough air to keep you comfortable, without wasting energy. They also factor in outdoor temperature when setting the indoor temperature. A variable-speed air handler can provide more air on hotter days, or less air on milder ones.

The system learns your habits, too: whether you like things a little warmer in the morning or a little cooler at night, etc. Some systems even have sensors to detect when someone enters or leaves a room, so that air isn't sent to unoccupied areas.

And in addition to learning your preferences, the system also connects to your phone or other mobile device via an app. This way, you can remotely control the temperature, and even the vents, closing one and opening another as needed.

Benefits of a Smart System

An automated HVAC system is more expensive than your standard model, but it's an investment. It can cut your energy bill by around 20 percent, paying for itself over time. It also ensures you're always comfortable, learning and automatically adjusting to your preferences, rather than making you set and reset the thermostat throughout the day.

Is HVAC automation right for you? To find out, have a professional conduct an energy audit of your home and determine where you're wasting energy. They can also examine your current HVAC equipment, to see if it meets your needs, or what upgrades might be beneficial to you. Then, they can help you choose the smart features that will best benefit your home, and set them up for optimal comfort and energy savings.

To learn more about smart HVAC systems, contact us at Air Assurance today. Broken Arrow trusts us for all its heating and cooling needs.

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Importance of an HVAC Water Filter

Everyone knows the importance of air filters in their HVAC system. They keep airborne contaminants from entering the unit and reducing the components' efficiency. But water flows through your system too. Here's why an HVAC water filter is also essential, for commercial and residential systems alike.

The Necessity of Water Filters

There are all sorts of contaminants that can come from your water and build up in your HVAC system. If you have hard water, it can cause scale: a layer of mineral deposits, such as calcium and magnesium, inside your system.

There can also be algae growth on and around the water, as well as just regular dirt. However, the calcium and magnesium cause a chemical reaction when the unit is warm, leading the other contaminants to bond with the surface and stick there. As this debris accumulates, it creates a barrier in your system that reduces heat transfer, forcing the system to use more and more energy.

A water filter eliminates these contaminants, improving energy efficiency. It also prevents corrosion and other problems that can necessitate more maintenance and ultimately shorten the lifespan of your system. Much like your air filter, a good water filter will improve efficiency, reduce overall maintenance, and help your system last longer.

Types of Water Filters

There are several different HVAC water filter types that can help keep your system clean. For a residential system, the best option is most likely a screen filter. Water passes through a screen similar to the way an air filter works. The screen captures debris, while letting clean water flow through.

For commercial or industrial systems, there are more efficient options. A centrifugal separator spins the water, so that debris sinks down to the bottom. And a microsand filter can filter out contaminants up to 50 times smaller than an ordinary screen filter. By choosing the right water filtration system for you, your system will stay healthy and efficient for years to come.

For help buying an HVAC water filter for your system, contact us at Air Assurance. We're Broken Arrow's trusted source for quality HVAC solutions.