What is a basic HVAC layout?
In The Woodlands, our systems are mostly air conditioners for summer and furnaces or heat pumps for winter.
Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps
Both a central air conditioner and a heat pump have two basic parts: the condenser unit and the evaporator coil. Refrigerant gas is compressed and cooled inside the condenser and pumped through refrigerant lines to the evaporator coil. A blower circulates air through the evaporator coil, cooling the air, and then blows it through the duct system into your home. In the winter, a heat pump reverses this process, absorbing heat from outside and releasing it inside your home. A heat pump can even absorb heat at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Furnaces & Air Handles
A heating system uses a blower to draw in cool air, passes it over a heat exchanger where it is warmed, and blows it out through air ducts to heat your home. There are essentially three types of furnaces: Upflow furnaces draw cool air from the bottom and send warmed air out the top;Counterflow furnaces draw cool air from the top and send warmed air out the bottom; Horizontal furnacesare suspended beneath the floor or in an attic, drawing cool air from one side and sending warmed air out the other.
“It’s not the heat — it’s the humidity.” Today's homes require effective humidity control more than ever before. Equipped with super efficient central air-conditioning systems, near-impermeable vapor barriers and improved insulation, many new homes suffer from excess moisture problems.
Types of humidity problems
Air conditioning alone may not satisfy your home's humidity requirements. Your air conditioning system is designed to control temperature, not humidity, and only removes humidity as a byproduct of cooling. During the spring and fall seasons when it’s still cool outside but damp inside, your air conditioning isn’t running and your house is uncomfortable — you may need a Whole-Home Dehumidifier.
“Molds are commonly found in outdoor air. However, any house can develop a mold problem given the right conditions. You might not see it growing on the walls, but it may still be present in your home. Molds require two factors to grow indoors: (1) free moisture that can occur in the form of relative humidity above 50 percent, leakage from pipes or foundations, or any ongoing source of water, and (2) something to grow on.”
How does humidity control work?
- A Whole-House Dehumidifier installs as part of your home’s central heating and cooling system, with a rated capacity of 90 pints per day. The dehumidifier measures the condition of your home’s air to decide when to run. An integrated air cycling feature will activate the HVAC blower to cycle air throughout the house to balance conditions. The dehumidifier has an optional ventilation damper that can mix fresh outside air into the process.
- A Whole-House Dehumidifier works equally well in new or existing homes, and is truly the complete solution for your home’s excess indoor humidity problems.
Why Do I Need a Whole-House Dehumidifier?
Have you ever experienced any of the following uncomfortable and/or unhealthy conditions:
- Do you have trouble sleeping at night due to clammy skin or stuffiness in the air?
- Have you ever reduced the temperature setting because you're uncomfortable with the stuffy feeling?
- Have your floors or other surfaces ever felt sticky or “sweaty”?
- Are you concerned with mold and mildew growth in your home?
- Do you have musty odors or smells in any area of your home?
- Do you have condensation on your water pipes?
- Have you seen wet stains on walls or ceilings?
- Do you or a family member have allergies (over-moist air can encourage the growth of mold, bacteria, and dust mites—three commonly known household allergens).
FACT: Did you know that dust mites (and their waste products) are one of the most common triggers for allergies and asthma? The Environmental Protection Agency advises keeping your home’s relative humidity between 30-50% to avoid dust mite infestation. The following chart demonstrates the optimum relative humidity ranges to minimize harmful contaminants such as dust mites, fungi and viruses.
Basic HVAC residential layout
- According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the proper use of a programmable thermostat can cut heating and cooling bills by from 5 to 20 percent.
- Sometimes called a “setback thermostat,” a programmable thermostat lets you set a schedule that will automatically change the temperature of your home—or certain areas of your home—several times during a 24-hour period.
- Some models allow you to set up different programs to fit with your weekend and weekday routines.
Programmable thermostats come with several programming capabilities:
- 7-day models allow you to set different programs for each day of the week and usually permit four possible temperature periods per day. These are best if your daily schedule tends to change from day to day.
- 5+2 models allow one program for Monday through Friday and another for Saturday and Sunday.
- 5+1+1 models allow one program for Monday through Friday, another schedule for Saturday, and still another for Sundays.
Rules of thumb for proper use:
- Keep the temperature set at its energy savings set-points for long periods of time (at least eight hours), for example, during the day when no one is at home and through the night after bedtime.
- All thermostats let you temporarily make an area warmer or cooler without erasing the pre-set programming. This override is cancelled automatically at the next program period. You use more energy (and pay more on energy bills) if you consistently override the pre-programmed settings.
- Units typically have two types of override features: - hold/permanent/vacation - temporary
- Avoid using the hold/permanent/vacation feature to manage day-to-day temperature settings. Hold or vacation features are for when you're planning to be away for an extended period. Set this feature at a constant, efficient temperature (i.e. several degrees warmer in summer, several degrees cooler in winter), when going away for the weekend or on vacation. You'll waste energy and money if you leave this feature at the comfort setting while you're away.
- Cranking your unit up to 90 degrees or down to 40 degrees, for example, will not heat or cool your house any faster. Most thermostats, including Energy Star-qualified units, begin to heat or cool at a programmed time to reach set-point temperatures sometime thereafter. Units with adaptive, smart, or intelligent recovery features are an exception to this rule. They reach desired temperatures by the set time because they use formulas that are based on your historical use.
- Install your unit on an interior wall, away from heating or cooling vents and other sources of heat or drafts (doorways, windows, skylights, direct sunlight, or bright lamps).
- Many homes use just one thermostat to control the whole house. If your home has multiple heating or cooling zones, you'll need a programmable thermostat for each zone to maximize comfort, convenience, and energy savings throughout the house.
Many ENERGY STAR qualified products are avaliable for a tax credit. Qualification for the credit mainly depends of SEER rating of unit. Read the eligibilty requirements
If you have any questions about reducing your tax or energy bills, just give us a call and we'd be glad to discuss options with you.