Air Conditioning Basics
Choosing an Air Conditioning System
Selecting an air conditioner for your home is a big decision. It’s an important investment today. It will play a key role in your home energy expenses for years to come. And when the summer heat is at its worst, you’ll want your family to have the best, most reliable cooling comfort possible.
1. Air Conditioner
Basically an air conditioner works like this: Connected to the inside cooling coil, the compressor pumps refrigerant back and forth, extracting heat and moisture from the indoors. It transfers the heat to the outdoors. Warm indoor air is blown over the inside coil, then is cooled and distributed throughout your home. Today, the federal government requires that all new models have a minimum "SEER" (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of 13.
2. Air Handler
Matched in size and efficiency rating with the heat pump, air handlers circulate conditioned air throughout your home. An air handler contains an inside coil and a blower fan, with the additional possibility of an auxiliary electric strip heater. Air handlers are available with single or variable-speed motors. Variable-speed models are known for soft starts, high humidity control features and selectable levels of airflow capacity, as well as the enhanced comfort mode.
3. Air Cleaner
An air cleaner is an integral part of a home comfort system, filtering dust and pollutants out of the air you breathe, and keeping your rugs and home furnishings cleaner, as well. Reduced pollen, dust, pet dander, smoke, etc. could help reduce allergy and asthma discomfort. Most filtration systems are up to 99.98% effective, and are also proven to remove more than 99% of the common flu virus from your home’s filtered air.
The control center for your home comfort system. Programmable Comfort Controls give you precise temperature control and allow you to program your heating and air conditioning requirements depending upon your activities and schedule.
Comfort you control. Wil-Don offers a complete line of digital thermostats, programmable thermostats and comfort controls to meet your needs. Each product has been designed to maximize the performance of the heating and air conditioning systems with reliable, accurate temperature control. And, not only are they easy to use, they’re also easy on the eye. With an attractive, streamlined design, our various thermostats will fit beautifully into any home’s décor. Let us help you select the model that’s right for your system and your lifestyle.
In general, it's important to remember that the higher the efficiency rating, the greater the energy savings. When properly selected, higher efficiency matched systems offer improved comfort at reduced operating costs.
Two-Stage Heating Systems
Choosing a Two-Stage Heating System
Advances in heating design have now made it possible for your home to be consistently comfortable with an even temperature during those cold winter months. Wil-don recommends Two-Stage Heating systems as the best solution to achieve that desired temperature level while saving you money on your energy bill at the same time.
Traditional furnaces are designed to run at their maximum capacity to provide warmth during the coldest temperatures in your region. For this reason, they operate at their highest levels when operating. Two-stage furnaces, conversely, are designed much like two separate furnaces which provide a more consistent temperature level within each room of your home.
The first stage is designed to function at approximately 68% of its heating capacity. A two-stage furnace will always begin in the first stage and endeavor to meet the current heating requirement. This reduced capacity is enough to warm your home on mild winter days. When temperatures plummet, the furnace adjusts itself and enters the second stage to meet the increased need for heat within the home. With two-stage heating, there is no need to keep adjusting the thermostat.
Advantages of two-stage heating systems
Continual comfort: Thanks to two-stage technology, the temperature inside your home should vary only a couple of degrees versus the larger temperature swings that are common with traditional furnaces.
Quiet comfort: Because a two-stage furnace starts in its first stage, when the amount of heat required is lower, and runs in this stage about 80 percent of the time, it greatly reduces the noise associated with furnaces that turn on and run full blast. Two-stage technology means quiet comfort.
Improved air filtration: You’ll breathe easier with two-stage heating. A two-stage furnace provides more consistent airflow and improved air filtration.
Efficient operation: Two-stage furnace burns less fuel than a traditional furnace that always runs at full capacity and then shuts off when the heating demand has been met. This furnace spends the majority of its time operating in its lower-capacity first stage for optimal efficiency.
Eliminate the chilly temperatures often felt just before the traditional heat system kicks on. Avoid family disagreements regarding frequent thermostat adjusting. A two-stage heating system will maintain that continual steady temperature to keep your family comfortable regardless of the changing weather conditions outside.
Wil-don heating professionals will show how owning a two-stage heating system will provide you years of comfortable, affordable even heating for your home.
Indoor Air Quality
Because they breathe faster than adults, children inhale 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults and are especially sensitive to air quality.
EPA studies show that even in the smoggiest cities; the air inside most modern homes is usually at least ten times more polluted than the air outside.
How can this be? There are many reasons, some of which were discovered only recently. They include invisible assassins like radon and CO2, as well as gas-emitting chemicals like formaldehyde used in making modern carpeting, drapery, household cleaners, furniture and building materials. There are also common airborne pollutants such as pollen, viruses, dust and dust mites and damp areas where standing water can breed mold, mildew and other microbes.
Much of this problem is attributed to the way modern homes are built—for purposes of energy efficiency, and to be as air-tight as possible. The consequence is that stale air, laced with odors, chemicals, irritants – even miniscule insects – often becomes trapped in modern homes, where it circulates over and over. This can lead to eye irritation, sinus congestion, sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness, colds, flu, headaches, dizziness, outbreaks of allergies and asthma, sore throats, and various other respiratory ailments.
So serious and prevalent is this issue that environmentalists have coined a new term for it—IAQ or Indoor Air Quality. Today’s homeowners need to become more aware of the importance of IAQ and what they can do about it.
Air filter systems and air cleaners provide a revolution in cleaner air. At Wil-Don, we don't just work to make sure your home's air is warm or cool. We work to make sure it’s as clean and comfortable as it can be. With our state of the art air filtration systems, providing your family with the cleanest air in the industry is just a phone call away. A blessing for asthma and allergy sufferers, it can remove up to 99.98% percent of airborne allergens from your home’s air as it's heated or cooled. And the products we offer are now proven to remove more than 99% of the common flu virus from your home’s filtered air.
- AFUE Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The AFUE number represents how efficiently a furnace converts fuel to energy. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more energy-efficient or fuel-efficient the furnace. The U.S. government’s established minimum AFUE rating for a furnace is 78%.
- Air Handler The indoor portion of a central air conditioning or heat pump system that forces cooled or heated air through the ductwork in your home. An air handler is usually a furnace or a blower coil.
- BTU British Thermal Unit. The BTU number indicates the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. What this means is the higher the BTU rating, the higher the heating capacity of a product.
- BTUH British Thermal Units per Hour.
- CAE Combined Annual Efficiency. This is a measurement of the amount of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed for both home heating and water heating.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) An odorless, colorless, tasteless, poisonous and flammable gas that is produced when carbon burns with insufficient air.
- CFM Cubic Feet per Minute. This measurement indicates how many cubic feet of air pass by a stationary point in one minute. The higher the number, the more air is being forced through the ductwork by the system.
- Compressor Considered the most important piece of a heating and cooling system, the compressor is located in the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump. It compresses and pumps refrigerant throughout the system.
- Condenser Coil The outdoor portion of an air conditioning or heat pump system that serves as a heat transfer point for dispelling heat to the outside air, as in an air conditioner or heat pump in the summer, or for collecting heat from outside air, as in a heat pump in the winter.
- Damper A movable plate, located in the ductwork, that regulates airflow. Dampers are used to direct air to the areas that need it most. Typically used in a zoning application.
- dB Abbreviation for decibel. This is a unit of sound intensity.
- Ductwork Pipes that carry air from the air handler to the air vents throughout the house.
- Evaporator Coil The part of an air conditioner or heat pump system located inside the house in the air handler. It is here that the refrigerant evaporates as it absorbs heat from the air that passes over the coil.
- Heat Exchanger The part located in the furnace that transfers heat to the surrounding air. The air is then forced throughout the home.
- Heat Pump An outdoor unit that looks similar to an air conditioner but heats or cools.
- HSPF Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This measures the efficiency of a heat pump. The U.S. government's established minimum HSPF rating for heat pumps is 6.8%. The higher the percentage, the more efficiently the unit operates.
- Humidifier A component that injects moisture into heated air as it passes from the furnace into the ductwork to be distributed throughout the home.
- Humidistat Usually found on an inside wall, this device operates as a control to regulate humidity levels so that you can adjust your home comfort at the touch of a button or switch.
- HVAC Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.
- IAQ Indoor Air Quality
- ISO 9000 A family of international standards for quality management and assurance.
- NATE North American Technician Excellence, Inc. (NATE)is the leading certification program for technicians in the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC)industry and is the only test supported by the entire industry. NATE exams reflect a consensus opinion of what technicians need to know to effectively service and install today's sophisticated HVAC systems
- Outdoor Coil See Condenser Coil.
- Refrigerant A chemical used to cool air as it evaporates. Air conditioning and heat pump systems use refrigerant in the evaporator coil to cool air as it passes by.
- Refrigerant Lines Two copper lines that connect the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump to the indoor evaporator coil.
- SEER Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This measures the cooling efficiency in air conditioners or heat pumps. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the unit. The government's minimum SEER rating is 10.
- Single Package A heating and cooling system contained in one outdoor unit.
- Split System A combination heat pump or air conditioner that includes not only an outdoor unit but also indoor components, such as furnaces or blower coils. Split systems should be matched for optimum efficiency.
- Thermostat Usually found on an inside wall, this device operates as a control to regulate your heating and cooling equipment so that you can adjust your home comfort at the touch of a button or switch.
- Ton Unit of measurement for determining cooling capacity. One ton equals 12,000 BTUH.
- Zoning A process of dividing a home into different areas or zones so each has its own heating and cooling comfort levels. For example, you may prefer to keep the kitchen cooler than a bedroom. Zoning allows you to control different temperature settings for each area, room or zone.