air conditioners

Efficiency

Regional Efficiency Standards: A Settlement Has Been Reached

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Recently, regional efficiency standards for HVAC equipment have been changed by the industry and the Department of Energy. Let's go over what this means for your household.

In 2006, the standard SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for air conditioners and heat pumps was raised from 10 to 13. In 2010, equipment manufacturers partnered with efficiency specialists to develop new regional efficiency standards, accounting for different climate conditions throughout the US. In the South and Southwest, SEER requirements were raised to 14, while they remained at 13 in the North.

Equivalent regional efficiency standards and adjustments have also been set for other equipment, such as gas furnaces.

However, the proposed January 2015 adjustments posed a few issues for manufacturers and distributors, so a new agreement has been reached with the DOE. It affects different equipment and regions in different ways.

Before we jump into the new rules, let’s go over a few terms. SEER we’ve already discussed. HSPF is related to heat pump efficiency, and stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. AFUE is for furnaces, and stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.

These new regional efficiency standards apply to all equipment manufactured after January 2015.

  • Split system air conditioners: SEER 14 (This number applies specifically to the South, including Oklahoma.)

  • Single package air conditioners: SEER 14

  • Split system heat pumps: SEER 14, HSPF 8.2

  • Single package heat pumps: SEER 14, HSPF 8.0

  • Small-duct, high-velocity systems: SEER 13, HSPF 7.7

  • Space-constrained air conditioners and heat pumps: SEER 12 (Heat pumps must meet an HSPF of 7.4.)

  • Gas-fired furnaces: AFUE 80%

While these numbers will become regional efficiency standards as of January 2015, there’s an 18-month grace period for distributors to sell through equipment manufactured before then.

These developments don't mean you’ll be forced to upgrade your equipment. They do mean that if you purchase new equipment made in 2015 or later, it will comply with these standards, saving you money and reducing your impact on the environment.

Let us know if you have questions. Air Assurance has been serving the Greater Tulsa metro area since 1985, and we’ll be happy to help.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Air Conditioning

Common Air Conditioner Problems That You Should Be Aware Of

You may be aware that your air conditioner is not performing well, and, with the hot Oklahoma summer arriving soon, it is essential to get any problems sorted out. What are the most common air conditioner problems?

Common Air Conditioner Problems That You Should Be Aware Of

Before tackling any problems, it's good to know the basics of how an air conditioner works and what its components are, so make sure to do a little research.

Historical Problems

If you live in a home that was built many years ago, and if it has an air conditioner that is older than 10 years, you may find that it the HVAC system was poorly installed or that you have a refrigerant leak. You should call on the professionals to assess your system.

If your air conditioner does not work, check fuses and circuit breakers in your main electricity box, and replace or reset them if necessary. Wait about five minutes before you reset breakers to allow your air con to cool down.

Drainage Obstructions

Condensate drains may get blocked, so check them to make sure they're draining properly.

Sensor Issues

The sensor, found behind the control panel of a room air conditioner, may be out of position and cause the unit to cycle all the time. The sensor should be near the coil but not touching it.

Control Failure

The fan and compressor controls wear out, particularly if the air conditioner is continually cycling, which tends to happen if the system is oversized. Corrosion can also occur and needs to be attended to.

Insufficient Maintenance

Regular preventive maintenance is imperative if you want to avoid the most common air conditioner problems that arise, and there are a few things you can do yourself like cleaning filters and coils. Of course, you may find that what you really need is a new, energy-efficient air conditioner unit and, if so, speak to your air conditioner provider about which is the best one to buy.

To find out more about common air conditioner problems or any other HVAC-related issues, contact Air Assurance today. We've been serving residents in the Broken Arrow area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Energy Savings

Electricity Usage Myths and Your HVAC System: Here's What They Mean

Electricity Usage Myths and Your HVAC System: Here's What They Mean

Myths often seem logical and have an element of truth, especially when proponents of electricity usage myths speak with passionate conviction. Here are three such myths.

Leave the Air Conditioner Running

Do not switch the air conditioner off when you go out as it will cost more to cool your home down again.The idea behind this myth is that you waste the energy used to cool your home down unless you keep it cool. This is not true, as while the air conditioner is running, heat is continually leaking into your home, and the greater the temperature difference between inside and outside, the greater the heat flow and the harder the air conditioner has to work. Rather save energy by reducing unnecessary energy loss.

Efficient Air Conditioners Use Less Electricity

An efficient air conditioner will reduce my electricity bill. This is partly true, and a replacement unit will use less electricity than an older, less efficient unit with the same BTU capacity. However, the overall saving will be small if the ducting is leaking or is partially blocked. First, repair your ducting and make sure that your home is properly sealed before buying an efficient unit. Keep in mind that if you buy a bigger unit it will use more power.

Heat Home up Quickly

Quickly warm up your home by setting thermostat to maximum. One of the electricity usage myths assumes that a heat pump or furnace will not run at full capacity unless set to maximum, based on the concept that the thermostat position has the same effect as the pressure your foot has on the accelerator pedal in your car.

In fact, thermostatically controlled devices run at full power until reaching their set temperature, so setting the thermostat to 80 degrees will not make the home heat faster, but it will get warmer than intended and you will waste energy.

To Learn More

If you want to know more about saving electricity in Broken Arrow/Tulsa, Oklahoma, contact Air Assurance by filling in a service request or phoning on 1 (918) 615-4696 and they will schedule a visit.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Air Conditioning, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Shutting Your Air Conditioner Down For the Season? A Few Simple Tips

With fall rolling in and winter to follow, it's time to put your A/C into hibernation. But instead of just leaving your unit idle until next summer, follow a few simple tips to preserve it, keep it clean and functioning, save a little money and also prevent the cold winter air from coming into your home.If you have an outdoor condensing unit as a part of your air conditioning system, take a hose, set it on “jet” and spray the unit to clean debris and dirt from the fan blades and condensing coils. Once dry, cover it securely with a breathable air conditioner cover. Although air conditioning condensing units are designed for outdoor use, covering them during the winter will protect it from freezing, water and wet leaves, thus extending the condenser's life and performance. Also, don't forget to turn off the exterior power supply to the condensing unit.If you have a window unit, remove it and store it away to prevent drafts. If it's not removable, cover it with an air conditioner cover.For more information and tips on winterizing your home, contact Air Assurance. We've been serving the Tulsa and Broken Arrow area for more than 30 years.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!      

Air Conditioning, Central, Energy Evaluations, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Planned Maintenance, Room, Service & Maintenance

Have Your Air-Conditioning System Checked Out Now To Keep It Humming All Summer Long

Things are beginning to heat up here in Broken Arrow, reminding us that summer will be here before we know it. Before the spring weather gives way to those hot, sweaty dog days, make it a priority to have your air conditioning system checked out. It’ll be comforting to know that you are doing your best to prevent a breakdown on one of those stifling days when you need cool air the most.It’s also a great way to keep a handle on your summer electricity bills, since air conditioners that are running efficiently consume less energy. With regular maintenance, a good A/C system can last a long time, so make sure that you’re getting the most mileage possible out of yours.One simple thing that you can do yourself to reduce your energy costs is to keep your air conditioning unit clean (wash from the inside out). Make sure that the air filter and vents on the inside and outside are dirt- and dust-free; remove any debris and make sure the vents are clear of anything that could obstruct them.A service technician will be able to dig deeper by:

  • Checking the refrigerant, air flow and thermostat
  • Making sure that the ducts are all properly sealed
  • Tightening connections as necessary
  • Checking the motors for wear and tear and lubricating them

He or she should also be able to diagnose and resolve other issues your air conditioning system may be experiencing, such as over-frequent cycling on and off, ice buildup, odors or any problems with the breakers. To make sure you’re getting the best advice possible, find someone who is a certified NATE technician (North American Technician Excellence).Don’t take any chances with your comfort or energy bills this summer. Have the expert NATE-certified technicians at Air Assurance service your air conditioning system now, and enjoy smooth sailing all summer long. To ask questions or to get expert advice on this or other HVAC issues, please visit our website.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.