Keep Your Older Home Cool With a Central Air Conditioning System

June 18, 2015

There’s a lot to be said for buying an older home. Besides their charming exteriors, they’re often well built with durable materials and sturdy construction. But one thing older homes aren’t usually known for is a good air conditioner. Even in our steamy region, some homes may never have had a central A/C installed or, if the home has some type of A/C, it may be time to upgrade it to a system that’s more efficient. Read on to learn what’s involved in adding central A/C to older homes. Determining the Scope of the Project Adding central A/C to older homes can be expensive, involving the addition or renovation of ductwork, upgrading the electrical system with a dedicated 230-volt circuit, increasing the size of the blower, changing out old registers for those sufficient to handle greater air flow and sealing the home envelope and the ductwork. That said, the advantages are many. If you’ve been using window units, you may be fed up with how unsightly and how noisy they are. Plus, running several window units isn’t particularly efficient, nor will they do the best job of cooling the home. To Add or Not to Add Ductwork Adding central air...

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Remodeling Your Home? Tips for Keeping Your Indoor Air Quality High

June 10, 2015

There are two important goals to keep in mind about your home’s air during a remodel project: maintain indoor air quality while remodeling and correct any indoor air quality problems your home may have had in the past. While You’re Remodeling Remodeling projects often release airborne particulates, biological pollutants and gases. Particulates occur in the form of dust and fibers, and they’re derived from soil, wood, drywall, concrete, flooring, plaster, ductwork and roofing. Biological pollutants such as mold or rodent and insect droppings can be dispersed during renovation. Gases in the form of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may be given off by paints, varnish, cleaning products, fuel, combustion products, carpeting, vinyl flooring and home furnishings, as well as adhesives, caulk and sealing. Other substances to look out for include asbestos, lead paint, radon and formaldehyde, all of which can cause health problems such as cancer and liver and kidney damage. Plan for containment and minimal exposure to all substances. With biologicals, decontamination may be in order. Workers should wear masks and open windows and run fans for ventilation. Vents and ducts should be sealed off to prevent pollution from getting in the HVAC system. Addressing Indoor Air Problems Controlling indoor...

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Boost Your Comfort Indoors by Focusing on These 3 Elements

June 4, 2015

Making your home more comfortable not only improves your mood, it’s also good for your health and well-being. A comfortable home is one that relies on safe and reliable systems to provide a healthy environment. Here are three factors that affect your home comfort. Temperature Control It’s just basic: When you’re too hot or too cold, you’re uncomfortable. In our warm climate, we’re mostly concerned with keeping the air conditioner running right through our long cooling seasons. One way to ensure that your home’s HVAC system cools or heats your home comfortably but efficiently is by installing a programmable thermostat. You can set schedules to boost cooling or heating when you get up in the morning or arrive home, and cut back when you’re sleeping or away. Also, pay attention to solar gain and loss through windows, and correct air leaks by weatherstripping and caulking cracks and gaps. Humidity Humidity makes us feel warmer. That’s not a bad thing in the winter, but in the summer, too much humidity in the home can inspire us to turn down the thermostat several degrees more than should be necessary. Air conditioners are designed to manage humidity, but if you feel yours is...

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Duct Design Helps Determine Cooling Efficiency

May 20, 2015

If you have a central air system, a lot of its efficiency is determined by how well your ductwork delivers conditioned air to your living areas. Leaky ductwork can lose around 30 percent of your cooling efficiency, and improperly designed ductwork can cost you even more. Following are the things that good duct design takes into account. Staying Inside Your Thermal Envelope If your ducts pass through areas of your home that aren’t conditioned, such as attics or exterior crawl spaces, the air passing through can take on the temperature of the outdoor air as it’s passing through the ductwork. That leads to reduced heating and cooling efficiency for you. Approved Ductwork Materials In older homes, you may find “ducts” that are simply passages through the wooden infrastructure of your home. These are no substitute for proper metal or fiberglass ducts, which can be balanced properly, cleaned and sealed. Duct Balance The pressure in your ducts needs to be managed in order to deliver the right amount of airflow to each room, regardless of its distance from your central air system. This balance can be adjusted using manual dampers, though it should be considered thoroughly in the duct design stage....

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Ductless Systems Need Maintenance Too

May 11, 2015

Ductless A/C systems are becoming increasingly popular with Conroe homeowners, especially those who want the power and comfort of a central A/C system without the complexity and expense of ductwork. With the right amount of care and maintenance, you can keep your ductless A/C system going throughout its 15-year lifespan. Keeping Your Ductless System Clean Just like a central A/C system, ductless systems require their fair share of maintenance. The most important part of ductless maintenance involves keeping your system clean. You should always replace your ductless A/C system’s air filter on a regular basis. Not only will this help prevent major breakdowns, but it’ll also keep your indoor air relatively clean. You should also take the time to clean any dust or debris you find on the A/C system’s vents. Occasionally, you should have your HVAC technician clean the evaporator coil of any dust, grime or mildew that collects on and around the coil. Other Helpful Tips Cleanliness isn’t the only facet of ductless maintenance. You should also keep the following tips in mind as you operate your ductless A/C system: Keep the bottom edges of the outdoor condenser/compressor cabinet clear of any and all vegetation or debris. This...

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Improve the Attic in These 3 Ways and Increase Overall Efficiency

April 20, 2015

Your attic doesn’t have to be a liability when it comes to saving on your energy bills. By making the following improvements to your attic, you can enhance your home’s overall energy efficiency while cutting down your monthly energy bills. Seal Those Gaps In warmer weather, it’s possible for air conditioned air to escape through the numerous cracks and gaps found throughout your home. To improve your attic and energy efficiency, the best solution is to seal each one, especially those found behind attic insulation and around windows. Sealing up those unused spaces and covering up holes left by utilities and plumbing can also help improve overall energy efficiency and home comfort. Improve Your Insulation Poorly insulated spaces rob your home of cool air during the summer months and allow cold air to soak in during the winter. Adding just the right type and amount of insulation to your attic can help lower your monthly utility bills, reduce wear and tear on HVAC components and improve home comfort. Make Sure Your Attic is Well-Ventilated Last but not least, proper ventilation keeps your attic free of excess moisture while improving indoor air quality. Most experts recommend using ridge and soffit vents...

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Evaporator and Condenser Coils Are Essential to A/C Operation

April 15, 2015

Your air conditioning system’s evaporator and condenser coils play important roles when it comes to keeping your Texas home cool and comfortable. This mass of aluminum and copper piping is what your air conditioning system’s refrigerant travels through in order to provide effective and efficient cooling. A basic understanding of how evaporator and condenser coils work to provide your home with the utmost comfort is handy to have when it comes to taking care of common coil-related issues. It may even encourage you to care for your air conditioner and give it the proper maintenance it needs to live a long life. How Evaporator and Condenser Coils Work In spite of their similar appearances and functions, evaporator and condenser coils are located in two different areas of your central A/C system. The evaporator coil is located within the plenum of the indoor portion of the cooling system, while the condenser coil is located within the outdoor portion. The evaporator coil doesn’t produce cold; instead, it takes away heat by absorbing the latent heat within the air using the refrigerant within the coils. Before the refrigerant enters the coils, it goes through an expansion valve that allows the pressurized gas to...

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Spring Home Maintenance Tasks Conroe Area Homeowners Can Tackle

April 10, 2015

Warmer weather is here and it’s time to get busy with spring home maintenance. Creating a list of important tasks means you’ll be less likely to overlook items that really need your attention. Here’s a few ideas to get you started. Exterior Elements Spring in the Conroe area can mean heavy rains or extreme drought, so it’s important to prepare for both with a thorough exterior inspection. Roof – Inspect the roof for any damage from winter and replace missing shingles to prevent leaks when it rains. Chimney – With the chill of winter spreading far into the south, you’ve probably put the chimney to use. Now’s the time to check the masonry for cracks and reseal it to prevent water infiltration. Foundation – Extreme weather changes take a toll on the foundation of a home and water erosion can compromise its stability. Have the foundation inspected by a professional as part of spring home maintenance to ensure there aren’t any problems. Siding – Everything from vinyl siding to brick can suffer damage during winter, and you want to fix any issues before the warm weather and rain causes complications. Damaged outside walls invite in pests like ants, termites, and...

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