The Remarkable History of Air Conditioning

At one time considered a total luxury, today, the air conditioner is an essential appliance to our daily lives. So much that, almost half of the USA’s total energy consumption is a result of cooling and heating homes.

Modern day air conditioning is a product of a series of advancements of scientist looking to better the day to day lives of people. Read on to see how it all began.

How it Began

Dr. John Gorrie was a physician and inventor from Florida, who lived in the 1800s. Gorrie proclaimed that by cooling cities you would alleviate “the evils of high temperatures.” He believed that this was key to preventing and reducing diseases such as Malaria and other common malaises. He was the first to implement a cooling system, yet his undeveloped system for cooling hospital rooms required ice to be shipped to Florida from frozen bodies of water in the Northern US. At this point, since shipping ice was expensive and impractical, Gorey started to experiment with the concept of artificial cooling by creating a machine that created ice using literal horse power (from a horse), water, and wind energy. He had his invention patented, but was unsuccessful at making his invention go main stream He did, however, open the doors to the modern day invention we call air conditioning.

Carrier’s Impact

It wasn’t until 1902 that the development of the air conditioner picked back up. William Carrier came to the rescue by accepting a job at the Buffalo Forge Company that would result in the very first modern day air conditioning. This job was unique to publishing and Carrier was tasked with the job to reduce humidity within the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company, which was causing the magazine pages to wilt and wrinkle. After several experimentations, Carrier arrived at a solution using cooling coils that controlled humidity both ways—dehumidification (cooling water) and humidification (heating water) and utilized an automatic control system.

From there, the Carrier Engineering Corporation was created along with six other engineers.

Modern Day Cooling

In 1922, Carrier debuted a revolutionary type of system that used a centrifugal chiller, meaning it had fewer moving parts and compressor stages than existing cooling systems, greatly expanding the widespread use across the USA. Yet these systems were still too large for residential use, and in 1929 Frigidaire introduced the first split system cooling system. Advancements in cooling continued to develop until by the late 60’s pretty much every new home was equipped with central air. There continues to be continuous advancement in the cooling industry, with new, more energy efficient solutions constantly changing the residential cooling landscape.

At Kemnitz, we’ve been helping the residents of Irvine stay cool and comfortable for over 25 years. If you’d like to learn more about your home’s cooling system and pick up some smart HVAC tips and tricks along the way, be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tips for Maintaining Your HVAC System in Moderate Weather

 

Our homes are no longer simply dwelling places. They are our last refuge after a hassle-filled day and as such, it is important that they provide a comfortable space to relax. Now, if the weather is cold enough for heat and not warm enough for AC, we have some simple tips you can use to maintaining your HVAC system during “gap” months where temperatures are moderate.

Maintain HVAC System in the Gap

Tips for Maintaining Your HVAC System During Moderate Weather

When it’s not cold enough for heat and not warm enough for AC, it can be hard to get comfortable. Here are some tips for maintaining your HVAC unit efficiency and staying comfortable in moderate weather:

  1. Open up the windows to let in some fresh air.

If you want to save some energy while making your home comfortable, try opening up your windows to let in some fresh air. If you are not running your HVAC fan, make sure that you use ceiling fans to help circulate the air in your home. This will keep the atmosphere from getting stale and help you distribute air to every room in your home.

  1. Monitor humidity levels in your home.

If you’re not using your AC system, and you want to keep the windows open, make sure that you monitor humidity levels in your home. Moisture is a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can impact your family’s health and happiness. When humidity becomes too high, you may need to turn your AC system back on to help better control your home environment.

  1. Update the schedule on your programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat is a great way to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the year while saving energy and cutting down on electricity costs. However, as the seasons change and weather begins to warm up or cool down, it is important that you adjust your programmable thermostat to account for these changes in temperatures.

  1. Clean vents and replace your air filter.

Now that you are using your HVAC system less, it is the perfect time to make sure that your system is clean and working efficiently. Clean or replace your HVAC filters, and clean all of your vents. This may also be the ideal time for an HVAC tune up. An experienced HVAC technician will come to inspect your unit and catch any problems ahead of time. He or she will also make sure that your HVAC system is clean and well-oiled.

Though it can be hard to stay comfortable and keep your HVAC system running efficiently when the weather is moderate, these tips will help you put less stress on your HVAC system and make sure that it’s ready for the months ahead.

Need help keeping your HVAC system maintained and working efficiently? Give us a call today to speak with an experienced HVAC technician.

 

Indoor Air Quality Creates A Better Environment For Employees And Customers

Anything that may adversely affect the bottom line of a business can become troublesome, including a high HVAC budget. Some business owners think that they can save a lot of money by cutting their HVAC budget. While this may work in the short term, the long-term cost can be overwhelming. Depending on your commercial indoor air quality, your business may incur huge HVAC costs through any or all of the following means:

Low Productivity

Poor indoor air quality can lead to impaired employee performance. If the room temperature is uncomfortably high, contains impurities and has poor circulation, employees may not be able to think clearly. In fact, many of them may doze off and sleep at their desks. This can be very costly to your business because very little work will get done.

Unimpressed Stakeholders

If your business has poor indoor air quality, your contractors, suppliers, business associates or colleagues will not be impressed with your business. As a result, you may end up losing a lot of business and skilled manpower. The end result will be stagnated business growth, if not contraction.

Unhappy Clients and Customers

If you are in a business that relies heavily on making customers feel comfortable, such as restaurant, bar or hotel business, you may lose most of your customers if you fail to provide them with high-quality, well-conditioned air.

Indoor air must be free of foul odors and allergens. It must also have the right moisture content and temperature. A well functioning HVAC system, complete with humidifiers and dehumidifiers can greatly improve commercial indoor air quality in any commercial establishment.

Poor indoor air quality is a major cause of respiratory illnesses that may increase absenteeism in employees. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), poor commercial indoor air quality costs businesses more than $15 billion annually, in terms of reduced productivity and worker absences. This cost can be reduced greatly by simply installing efficient HVAC equipment and making sure employees do not smoke indoors. This will cost some money, but is nothing compared to what employers stand to lose.

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Ways To Increase Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency

Air conditioning efficiency is important not only for energy saving and reduced utility bills, but for the comfort and well-being of premises occupants. You can increase the efficiency of your Air Conditioner (AC) without spending much money in the process. By adjusting your thermostat’s settings accordingly, using physical blocks to rid your home of excessive external heat, minimizing your indoor heat-generating activities, and insulating your AC’s ducts, you can get increased air conditioning without overworking your AC.

How to increase your air conditioner’s efficiency

Block heat

The chances of your home’s indoor air getting as hot as the external air are minimal if you block the entry points of such heat. Closing all home openings (door, windows, and other openings) during the day can lock out the excessive heat, allowing your AC to cool your indoor air fast. You can also insulate thin walls and windows with curtains, blinders, and other materials that radiate the heat off your home. Insulating your attic, basement and as many rooms as possible with radiant barriers can keep your indoor air cooler than the sweltering outdoor air. Your AC’s efficiency is higher when there is minimal hot air to cool than when there are excessive levels of hot air to cool.

Minimize heat generating activities

Just as installing physical heat barriers increases the efficiency of your AC, reducing indoor heat generating activities can significantly increase air conditioning efficiency. Minimize hot showers, hair, and clothes dryers’ activities, excessive open heat cooking, ironing, and hot showers. The activities mentioned above raise the temperature of your indoor air, reducing your AC’s efficiency.

Insulate ducts to prevent leak of cool air

Your entire AC system must be maintained in top notch condition; from major components to duct work. Your routine AC check-up and maintenance should not only replace, repair or clean worn out AC components, but it should also seal and or repair damages on your AC’s duct/ vents that can leak your conditioned air. You should also seal any drafts around your home that leak the already conditioned air.

Every building owner must seek to increase air conditioning efficiency in order to save on utility bills and energy consumption, as well have comfortable and healthy indoor air quality. Installing physical heat barriers, sealing drafts and reducing heat generating activities can immensely increase your air conditioner’s efficiency. Call us for all heating and air conditioning needs in your home.

5 Common Misconceptions About Air Conditioning

When summer comes, home owners want the coolest and most comfortable environment their Air Conditioning can deliver. To save some energy dollars, though, you should know about these common A/C myths and what the truth really is.

Myth #1: Running a fan lowers room temperature. It may seem that way because you feel cooler when a fan is blowing on you. However, the fact is that leaving a fan running when you are out of the house does nothing for home comfort. It just wastes money by blowing hot air around.

Myth #2: A/C controls only room temperature. The truth is that A/C affects both temperature and humidity–key to how comfy people feel. Some units have special drying features to keep indoor moisture content down.

Myth #3: When it comes to Air Conditioning, the bigger the unit is, the better the cooling will be. The truth is you may be wasting your money. Instead, try moving your portable unit to a shadier spot in the house so the A/C won’t have to work so hard. Also, get a seasonal tune-up. A clean air conditioner runs much more efficiently and will last longer, too. Finally, insulate to keep cool air indoors. For instance, seal up leaky window and door frames with weather stripping.

Myth #4: Using the highest A/C setting possible will cool a warm room faster. The fact is this is a waste of money. Except for a window unit, any air conditioner works at a pretty even pace and does not benefit from turning the thermostat to a super arctic setting.

Myth #5: If you turn the thermostat to a higher temperature while you are out of the house, the Air Conditioning unit will have to work really hard to cool the home down again. Any HVAC professional will tell you that the opposite is true. So, go ahead and adjust the thermostat, or better yet, invest in a programmable thermostat which will adjust the settings according to your schedule.

Our company wants you to have the best cooling season this year. We will be happy to answer your air conditioning concerns; so call us today for a maintenance appointment.

How To Improve Air Quality Indoors

Several effective options are out there to improve air quality in your home or place of business. According to current information from the Environmental Protection Agency, air quality improvement has three different factors: source control, improvements in ventilation and the installation of air filters. Each of these measures can reduce the amount of allergens in the indoor air, leading to better interior health conditions for everyone who lives and works in the building.

Source Control

The most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate the various pollutants at their sources. Some common sources are gas lines and HVAC ducts, particularly in older buildings that may contain asbestos dust. Closing off and sealing sources of drafts is a simple measure for reducing allergens and some forms of infectious bacteria that travel on these kinds of air currents. This option is often more cost-effective than increasing rates of indoor ventilation.

Improvements in Ventilation

Increasing the circulation of fresh air is another way to reduce pollutants, dust mites, allergens and airborne bacteria. One of the easiest methods is to invest in a window air conditioning unit and run it with the window open, weather permitting. Other ways include running ceiling and table fans, running kitchen stove or microwave fans and opening windows. Each of these measures will reduce the concentration of contaminants in the air.

An air cleaner is a final option for reducing pollutants and contaminants in the indoor air. A variety of sizes and models are available, and they can also vary in cost. Some of the least expensive are small table-top air cleaners. Others can be entire new systems installed throughout the building in a similar manner to a new HVAC system. The overall effectiveness of any air cleaning system depends on the rates of indoor air it can pull in and filter per hour. This feature is often referred to as the filtering element, combined with the percentage efficiency rate of the unit. With any type of air cleaning unit, its ability to improve indoor air quality depends on upkeep and on following the manufacturer’s included instructions.

Does My House Need Surge Protection For The HVAC System

A lot has changed in the past decade in terms of household electronic appliances and devices. Today, the average number of sophisticated electronic devices present in a household is much higher than the figure about one or two decades ago. In the past, it was crucial to have surge protection in case one decides to go for a high-tech electronic device, such as a large television. Today, surge protection may not be a necessity but it is definitely a wise decision to opt for one because it prevents power surges from taking place.

There are many causes of power surges, from power grid problems to a lightning strike. Such surges are extremely damaging to the sensitive electronic systems present in the household, particularly the HVAC system. In fact surge damages to HVAC units are often irreparable, thus the owner is compelled to purchase a new HVAC unit. Since one cannot gauge how much damage power surges can cause, therefore it makes sense to opt for a surge protector if you have an HVAC unit installed in your house or office.

Sometimes, in case of minor power surges, visible damages may not occur but one can expect hidden damages which would get worse as time passes. These hidden damages can be thought of as additional wear and tear of the HVAC device, which leads to system failure prematurely. HVAC surge protectors play an important role here in minimizing the occurrences of these extra wear and tear.

If your HVAC unit is directly connected to the power line instead of a power outlet then you should have the surge protector placed at the main breaker box. This way, excess power or sudden surges of power won’t affect the HVAC unit adversely. Alternatively, in case of other types of HVAC units, one can purchase multiple individual HVAC surge protectors and have these installed at every outlet.

Simply buying the surge protector is not enough, you should also get the same installed properly by an expert or a professional for optimum benefits. So, give us a call to have HVAC surge protection installed at your home and you can take your mind off HVAC surge problems!

When Will Higher HVAC Efficiency Standards Take Effect?

In an attempt to reduce the amount of energy used to heat homes in the U.S., in 2009, the Department of Energy worked with experts in the utility and HVAC industries to improve the efficiency of HVAC equipment. The higher HVAC efficiency standards were supposed to take effect in 2013; however, the implementation of these higher standards was delayed by court order. Unfortunately, it became clear that in order to implement the higher standards for HVAC efficiency, many homeowners would face a financially difficult situation.

The idea was to raise AFUE, annual fuel utilization efficiency, from its present minimum of 78 to an AFUE of 90. Of course, HVAC equipment with a 90 AFUE would certainly reduce energy consumption, but implementing this higher standard seems to be much more difficult than was anticipated. For one thing, the only type of HVAC equipment that could deliver this higher efficiency is a condensing furnace. Unfortunately, installation of a condensing furnace requires modifying and retrofitting a home’s existing systems to accommodate an entirely different type of heating system.

A condensing furnace not only utilizes two different heating methods, but it also requires modifying existing equipment in order to provide a different venting system. A condensing furnace utilizes heat that would typically be dispersed through the chimney by condensing the hot water vapor and sending it through the plumbing system. While this definitely helps increase the efficiency of the HVAC equipment, it becomes a problem when existing homes require extensive retrofitting that can be very expensive.

After arguments from industry experts in the HVAC field, the court system has delayed implementation of the higher AFUE standards. The higher HVAC efficiency standards are still within the court system and it is impossible to say when or if these standards will ever be adopted. For now, homeowners can improve the efficiency of their home’s heating system by choosing high efficiency equipment. This will help to reduce energy usage as well as keep heating bills as low as possible.

When you want the very best in HVAC efficiency or if you need HVAC repairs or service, give a local HVAC contractor a call. They have the trained technicians to help you with all of your HVAC installation, repair or maintenance needs.

Protect Your Utilities And Appliances From Power Surges

If you have invested in owning a home, you are most likely well aware that there are certain tasks you need to take on in order to make sure your home is kept in working order and looks appealing. You paint your home when needed, trim and prune the trees and other fesque, you make necessary repairs, provide HVAC maintenance, and protect your home with hazard and flood insurance. One thing many homeowners overlook, however, is surge protection. You need to protect your home utilities, large and small appliances, and electrical equipment against internal and external power surges.

External Power Surges
Power surges that occur outside of the home are referred to as external power surges. These power surges happen when power lines outside of the home are damaged or are down, such as in the case of a vehicle or animal accident, a storm, or your electrical company performing repairs or maintenance to the power lines. Large amounts of power can be sent into the home at home time during an external power surge, potentially damaging appliances and electrical equipment, such as the television and computers. You can protect against these types of power surges by using special outlets or plugging such electrical equipment into power strips with surge protection.

Internal Power Surges
Not many homeowners are aware of internal power surges, or power surges that happen due to circumstances within the home. These power surges are not generally noticeable, however, they can cause a lot of damage inside the home. Internal power surges happen when a large appliance, such as an air conditioner or dryer, is cycled on and sucks a lot of power into the home. When that appliance cycles off it sends a large dose of power back out into the line. Overtime, this causes a lot of wear and tear on appliances.

Home Power Surge Protection
Be sure your home is protected against both internal and external power surges today by calling your trusted HVAC contractor. Your HVAC contractor can protect your home utilities and help make sure you don’t have more costly repairs and replacements in the long run.

NATE Certified Technicians Aspire To Provide Excellent Service

Staying on top of HVAC maintenance is important to homeowners. The expert advice and skills of NATE certified HVAC technicians have helped millions of homeowners save money and get the most out of their a/c units. Many homeowners contribute their newly found low cost comfort to the NATE certified technicians that were entrusted with their HVAC systems. What does NATE certified mean?

NATE certification means homeowners now know which HVAC technicians are the most qualified and trustworthy. NATE is an organization that was created to help homeowners find HVAC service providers that believe in offering excellence to each client. NATE developed a variety of difficult tests for technicians to take that prove the technicians knowledge in different areas of the industry. Each test topic requires technicians to know about all aspects of botah older and modern HVAC techniques and developments.

Over the years the NATE organization has gained notoriety as being a reliable testing center. Becoming NATE certified is a great way for technicians to ensure both HVAC employers and clients that they are capable of providing excellent and skilled service. Bringing a higher standard of excellence into the HVAC industry has been the goal of NATE since day one. A certified NATE technician will be able to troubleshoot, diagnose, install, and perform a variety of services to both new and existing HVAC equipment.

Additionally, a certified technician will provide homeowners with tips to help them save money on HVAC utility costs. Many of the summer energy saving tips certified technicians recommend requires very little effort. Tips such as keeping blinds shut, reversing ceiling fan blades, changing air filters, installing modern programmable thermostats, scheduling a residential zoning consultation, along with a summer a/c maintenance tune up are all fairly easy tasks.

Knowing the answer to what is NATE certification, and the importance of it can be considered the most important thing a homeowner needs to know about the HVAC industry. When hiring a NATE certified technician, homeowners can rest assured knowing that they are getting the most out of their air conditioner this summer. Contact a NATE certified HVAC company today to schedule a summer a/c tune up with an expert that is eager to help you save money while getting the most out of your a/c this summer.